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Beach Volleyball at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games:

Men's Beach Volleyball

Beach Volleyball at the 2016 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games

Events:

Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Venue(s): Copacabana Stadium, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
Date Started: August 6, 2016
Date Finished: August 18, 2016
Format: Top 16 teams from round-robin pools advanced to the single-elimination tournament.

Gold: BRA Brazil-1
Silver: ITA Italy-1
Bronze: NED Netherlands-1

Summary

The Brazilian pair of [Alison Cerutti] (Olympic silver medallist in 2012) and [Bruno Schmidt] went to Rio as the reigning world champions and top seeds, with the Netherlands pair they beat in the final, [Reinder Nummerdor] and [Christiaan Varenhorst], the number five seeds, also amongst the favourites. But it was perhaps another Dutch pair and second seeds, [Alexander Brouwer] and [Robert Meeuwsen], who posed a bigger threat to the Brazilians. The third seeds were the Americans [Nick Lucena] and [Phil Dalhausser] and were another fancied pairing. The reigning Olympic champions [Julius Brink] and [Jonas Reckermann] did not defend their title because London 2012 was their last tournament together before Reckermann’s retirement.

All the fancied pairs made it out of their respective qualifying groups with the exception of the Latvian world number ones [Aleksandrs Samoilovs] and [Jānis Šmēdiņš], who finished at the bottom of their group. The Dutch World Championship silver medalists Nummerdor and Varenhorst qualified despite losing to the Russians [Vyacheslav Krasilnikov] and [Konstantin Semyonov]. The Italians [Alex Ranghieri] and [Adrian Carambula] were in the same group as Alison and Bruno Schmidt but both pairs qualified despite each losing one match. Schmidt is the cousin of Brazilian Olympic basketball star and Hall of Famer [Oscar Schmidt], who was the first man to score 1,000 points in an Olympic career.

The big surprise of the last 16 was the defeat of world number three Ranghieri and Carambula in straight sets by their fellow Italians [Daniele Lupo] and [Paolo Nicolai], ranked 22 in the world and only in the last 16 after winning their lucky loser play-off match in three sets. The 2015 World Championship silver medallists Nummerdor and Varenhorst set up a quarter-final meeting with fellow countrymen Brouwer and Meeuwsen.

The quarter-finals were played in a very stiff breeze and the last eight saw Brouwer and Meeuwsen win the all-Netherlands clash in straight sets whilst the Brazilian favourites Alison and Bruno Schmidt beat the Americans Delhausser and Lucena 21-14, 12-21, 15-9. Lupo and Nicolai beat the Russian No.2 pair of [Dmitry Barsuk] and [Nikita Lyamin] in a close three-setter, 21-18, 20-22, 15-11, but Krasilnikov and Semenov did give Russia a team in the semi-finals after beating the Cuban duo of [Nivaldo Nadhir Díaz] and [Sergio Reynaldo González] in the game of the round with the third deciding set going to 18-16, after the Russians had won the first set 22-20 and the Cubans the second 24-22.

The Brazilians were first to play in the semis and the enthusiastic home supporters were treated to a magnificent match at the end of which they got the result they wanted – but it was close. Brouwer and Meeuwsen pushed Alison and Bruno Schmidt in the first set before the Brazilians took it 21-17, but the number two seeds levelled it by winning a tight second set 23-21 and it was down to the deciding third set. Alison and Bruno Schmidt looked like easy winners as they raced to a 10-7 lead, but in no time they found themselves trailing 11-12. The lead then changed hands before the Brazilians went 14-13 up and then had their fifth match point of the night ,but it was again saved. The home pair did not, however, let their sixth match point slip away as they won 16-14.

The other semi-final also went to three sets when the Italian outsiders, Nicolai and Lupo overcame a first set 15-21 reverse against the ninth seeded Krasilnikov and Semenov to win the next 21-16 and the decider 15-13. The bronze medal match was close with Brouwer and Meeuwsen beating Krasilnikov and Semenov 23-21, 22-20 in their fifth win in six international meetings against the Russians. It was also the first ever medal won by Netherlands in Olympic beach volleyball.

The final was the fifth consecutive men’s final that had seen a Brazilian pair going for the top prize but on just one previous occasion, when [Emanuel Rego] and [Ricardo Santos] won in 2004, had they won the gold medal. For Italy, it was the first ever appearance in an Olympic beach volleyball final, male or female, and win or lose, it would be their first medal – they had never previously reached the semi-final in either competition.

After seeing the Brazilian women fail to win a gold medal, the full house at the Beach Volleyball Arena were hoping their two men, Alison and Bruno Schmidt could deliver, and they did not disappoint as they beat Nicolai and Lupo 21-19, 21-17 to become Olympic champions and add further gold to their 2015 world title. But the Italian pair, who had won their second European title in 2016, made it tough in the first set by racing into a 5-1 lead before the Brazilians then led 13-10 but they then let the Italian pair get into a commanding position at 19-18 before the home players, with the crowd behind them, won three points in a row to take the set 21-19. The Italians held a three point lead on four occasions in the second set. The last was at 11-8 before Alison and Bruno Schmidt took charge and ran out 21-17 winners, and for Alison Cerutti, it made up for his disappointment of a silver medal at London 2012.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal GP W L PTS SF SA PF PA SAtt SF SAce FS AA AS BS OE TP DS
1 Brazil-1 BRA Gold 7 6 1 12 13 4 333 297 338 42 16 0 350 201 39 87 343 84
2 Italy-1 ITA Silver 8 5 3 10 12 9 382 364 380 55 18 0 427 241 40 83 382 83
3 Netherlands-1 NED Bronze 7 5 2 10 13 3 325 287 318 65 14 0 316 198 39 74 325 68
4 Russia-1 RUS 7 6 1 12 11 6 329 285 326 38 16 0 334 195 40 78 329 82
5T Russia-2 RUS 5 3 2 6 7 5 216 205 214 23 10 0 213 137 21 48 216 42
5T Cuba CUB 5 4 1 8 9 4 261 235 259 28 14 0 267 162 24 61 261 56
5T United States-1 USA 5 4 1 8 9 3 232 184 228 21 11 0 230 134 19 68 232 65
5T Netherlands-2 NED 5 3 2 6 7 5 224 205 221 29 10 0 245 136 23 55 224 67
9T Italy-2 ITA 4 2 2 4 4 5 160 163 172 20 7 0 199 107 17 42 173 55
9T Brazil-2 BRA 4 1 3 2 5 7 212 211 215 31 14 0 229 138 21 39 212 43
9T Qatar QAT 4 2 2 4 4 6 161 187 163 26 7 0 203 103 11 40 161 42
9T Austria-2 AUT 4 2 2 4 4 6 164 187 154 22 4 0 199 99 7 44 154 46
9T Austria-1 AUT 4 1 3 2 4 6 174 182 174 15 5 0 222 111 20 38 174 63
9T Spain ESP 4 2 2 4 5 6 188 192 187 20 6 0 217 123 21 38 188 41
9T Mexico MEX 4 2 2 4 4 5 156 150 157 13 16 0 175 91 12 37 156 45
9T Canada-1 CAN 5 2 3 4 5 7 207 228 208 31 9 0 232 131 12 55 207 55
17T Poland-2 POL 4 1 3 2 3 6 159 167 161 27 11 0 144 82 17 49 159 22
17T Poland-1 POL 4 1 3 2 3 7 163 184 164 11 9 0 199 104 14 36 163 46
19T Canada-2 CAN 3 0 3 0 2 6 137 145 127 10 6 0 143 72 16 30 124 27
19T Germany GER 3 0 3 0 1 6 117 140 121 24 9 0 143 77 5 26 117 24
19T Tunisia TUN 3 0 3 0 0 6 70 126 74 13 2 0 124 46 5 17 70 18
19T Latvia LAT 3 1 2 2 4 5 150 164 150 12 5 0 189 103 11 31 150 50
19T Chile CHI 3 0 3 0 1 6 105 136 111 13 7 0 142 70 4 24 105 25
19T United States-2 USA 3 1 2 2 3 4 125 126 128 13 10 0 137 80 12 23 125 28