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Volleyball at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games

2016 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games


Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date Started: August 7, 2016
Date Finished: August 21, 2016
Events: 2

Participants: 283 (141 men and 142 women) from 19 countries
Youngest Participant: ITA Paola Egonu (17 years, 233 days)
Oldest Participant: EGY Ashraf Abou El-Hassan (41 years, 83 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 72 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): USA United States (2 medals)


With no change in format from London 2012, 12 men’s team and 12 women’s teams took part in Rio with all matches being played at Brazil’s most famous volleyball arena, the Maracanãzinho, or Ginásio Gilberto Cardoso, to give it it’s full name. Located next to the iconic Maracanã stadium, it has hosted World Championships in volleyball, basketball and judo, as well as playing host to many world famous singers and bands who have held concerts in the arena. The Maracanãzinho was opened in 1954 and was renovated for the 2007 Pan American Games, when the capacity was reduced to its present 11,800.

The respective 12 teams were divided into two pools with the top four in each qualifying for the knockout phase. All matches were the best-of-five sets with the first to score 25 points, with a margin of two points, taking each set. The fifth ‘tie-break’ set was up to 15 points, again with the winners having to have a two-point margin over their opponents.

Brazil maintained their record of taking part in every volleyball tournament since the sport was introduced into the Olympic programme in 1964, while Cameroon, Iran and Puerto Rico were all making their Olympic Games début in Rio, with Argentina competing in the women’s event for the first time. For Mexico it was a return to the Olympic volleyball fold after their only other appearance, on home ‘soil’ back in 1968.

The Brazilian men won their fourth consecutive medal, and their gold in Rio was their third, equal with the USA’s total, and just one behind the four won by Soviet Union/Russia. The Brazilian women were hoping to win three consecutive titles but were out of the medals in Rio, with China winning their third gold and taking their Olympic medal tally to six, equaling that of Japan and three behind the nine won by the Soviet Union/Russia/Unified Team. The United States, with two bronze medals, was the only nation to win two medals in Rio, while Serbia’s women won their country’s first ever volleyball medal.