Olympic Games 2016 - Rio de Janeiro - Beach Volleyball

  • The list of qualified teams until now (maximum 2 per country):


    Alison Cerutti & Bruno Oscar Schmidt
    Pedro Solberg Salgado & Evandro Goncalves
    Reinder Nummerdor & Christiaan Varenhorst
    Nicholas Lucena & Phil Dalhausser
    Alexander Brouwer & Robert Meeuwsen
    Jake Gibb & Casey Patterson
    Pablo Herrera & Adrián Gavira
    Aleksandrs Samoilovs & Jānis Šmēdiņš
    Konstantin Semenov & Viacheslav Krasilnikov
    Alex Ranghieri & Adrian Carambula
    Grzegorz Fijałek & Mariusz Prudel
    Paolo Nicolai & Daniele Lupo
    Clemens Doppler & Alexander Horst
    Bartosz Łosiak & Piotr Kantor
    Markus Böckermann & Lars Flüggen
    Ben Saxton & Chaim Schalk
    Juan Virgen & Lombardo Ontiveros
    Jefferson Santos Pereira & Younousse Cherif
    Choaib Belhaj & Mohamed Naceur
    Alexander Huber & Robin Seidl
    Esteban Grimalt & Marco Grimalt
    Sergio Gonzalez & Nivaldo Diaz
    Josh Binstock & Sam Schachter
    Dmitri Barsouk & Nikita Lyamin

  • Russia's Barsouk-Lyamin and Canada's Binstock-Schachter are the last two participating teams at the Games. The Russians were probably nominated, whereas Binstock-Schachter won a winner-takes-it-all play-off in Canada against Pedlow-O'Gorman. Score 2-1 (20-22, 21-17, 15-12).


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  • Did you have the chance to watch any of the two games so far? Our television showed the opening game of the men's schedule. It wasn't the brightest of openings in terms of quality and drama but we saw a very solid Italian team, just the way we know them. Even if you are the underdog in such games (e.g. Olympics opening match), you should go out and play with the spirit the Canadians Binstock-Schachter showed. A very disappointing game by Doppler-Horst, definitely their weakest match I've watched. And the timing couldn't be worse. Our commentator revealed something interesting. The Austrians took some Copacabana sand home when they played at the Rio Grand Slam during the earlier stages of the World Tour this year. They analysed the sample, discussed the differences and built a special court (I don't know where, probably in Austria) with the same sand so that they can practice under the same conditions that had been expected in Rio. I don't know if the sand helped them but in terms of tactical preparation for their first opponent the Austrians had done a very poor job. Or at least failed to realize pretty much everything. They had played against Carambula and yet his sky serves seemed a big surprise to them. Alexander Horst is surely not among the most technically gifted players but his game today was below poor. He couldn't receive well, sent many balls long form position 2 (his usual side of the court) and Carambula saved some (if not half) of his decent diagonal attacks. On the other side, the Italians were very focused in the first parts of the two sets and didn't have to play with 100% to finish the game. Ranghieri was solid at the net, just as usual, and the two, not surprising at all, showed that they will be troublemakers.


    I couldn't watch Alison-Bruno vs. Binstock-Schachter, I doubt it will be replayed on telly so I hope for some YouTube/online channel miracle.

  • The first two more or less serious upsets happened in the men's tournament today (there are still 2 more games to be played before the first round is closed). Nicolai-Lupo led by 1-0 and lost to the Mexicans Virgen-Ontiveros. For those who follow the World Tour it should not be such a huge surprise, the Mexicans have improved a lot in the recent 3-4 years. It doesn't put the newly crowned European champions in a good light. Nicolai-Lupo played four years ago in the lucky loser play-offs and they are heading that way now as well. But they can still turn things around by beating Lucena-Dalhausser in the last game. Difficult but surely not impossible.


    The real surprise was made by the Cubans Gonzalez-Nivaldo. They beat the Brazilians Pedro-Evandro in three sets (24-22, 21-23, 15-13). It seems as the match of the first round so far, I hope I can watch it somewhere. Unknown to the wide beach volleyball audience, these Cubans entered the 2015 WCH and finished 9th in pretty much their only international (or at least outside North/Central America) appearance to that period. They were one of the pleasant surprises back then (eliminated in the Round of 16 by Pedro-Evandro in three tight sets!) and now they got their revenge. They seem to be doing just fine again. I am curious how and where these guys practice, it would be great to watch them in the World Tour.

  • A very well-deserved comeback by the Qatari pair Jefferson-Cherif against the favourites Herrera-Gavira. The Spaniards play very clean, beautiful, and efficient beach volleyball and my expectations had been that they would've secured a second round berth today already. Now they will have to win their last match and wait. Jefferson-Cherif only really entered the Olympic tournament in the second set today, a disastrous performance for them in the opener with a ton of unforced errors. Then they woke up, Cherif started his dominance at the net, Jefferson had some crucial defensive actions, whereas the Spaniards, partially challenged by the risky Qatari serves, started making mistakes and lost rhythm and confidence. What started as a perfect match for Herrera-Gavira finished as a tie-break defeat and now the situation in Pool F looks entertaining. What is obvious when one watches the Spaniards is how technically and partially physically identical Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira are and how easily they switch positions. The server always stays in defence, unorthodox to most traditional blocker-defender duos, and thus they save a lot of energy. Well, they lost the game today and their tactics did not quite work after the second set, something they have to work on for the games to come, but they still remain one of the top teams due to those characteristics.


    I was also surprised by Losiak-Kantor's game earlier today. Bartosz Losiak's bad day was revealed by Barsouk-Lyamin and he kept making mistake after mistake. The Russians were much more focused and energetic in comparison to their first game when they lost to Brouwer-Meeuwsen. The Russians and the Poles pretty much exchanged roles in their second match.

  • The Austrians took some Copacabana sand home when they played at the Rio Grand Slam during the earlier stages of the World Tour this year. They analysed the sample, discussed the differences and built a special court


    They did the same in hamburg.....



    It looks a bit windy in rio right now. If it stays like this that might benefit the more technical gifted teams. Brouwer/Meeuwsen have some problems at the moment against Böckermann/Flüggen. I hope the guys can still turn it around after their terrible match against Losiak/Kantor :super:

  • Somehow the dutch survived. A victory of Böckermann/Flüggen was possible and this would have made the group wide open. Brouwer/Meeuwsen were not really impressive. A lot of problems with receiving and ball handling, probably due to wind but they somehow looked unready as well.


    Just saw Allison/Bruno lost to Doppler/Horst? :white:It seems there are a lot of things possible in this tournament. i hope it goes on like this....

  • Next defeat for brazilian men. :whistle:


    Pedro/Evandro are loosing to Saxton/Schalk and now have to beat Samoilovs/Smedins to get out of pool play, which is a really tough task. I am not the biggest fan of this duo, but i really did not expect them to get eliminated at this early stage.

  • Next defeat for brazilian men. :whistle:


    Pedro/Evandro are loosing to Saxton/Schalk and now have to beat Samoilovs/Smedins to get out of pool play, which is a really tough task. I am not the biggest fan of this duo, but i really did not expect them to get eliminated at this early stage.



    It is surprising indeed. Not because they are the best team out there or because they play at home but because they always manage to make it to the knock-out stage one way or another. As a matter of fact, they have been in a similar situation before (don't ask me when, I just remember but don't want to look for it) with two defeats in their first two pool matches and they made it out of the pool and went on further. They still have good chances but they have a mountain to climb, no question about that. Yesterday's defeat to Schalk-Saxton was strange, the win could've gone both ways because Ben Saxton missed the second match point. The Canadians worked hard, however, to take the win and exploited Pedro Salgado's known vulnerabilites.


    Mexico's Virgen-Ontiveros seemed somewhat delighted with their situation and didn't show anything special against Lucena-Dalhausser. The Mexicans will probably win against the tournament's weakest team Naceur-Belhaj from Tunisia and will finish second in the pool. Surprises are possible, of course, many examples in Rio already, so I hope the Mexicans just didn't have a good day. It would be stupid if they pulled the brakes yesterday and did the Math.


    Fijalek-Prudel won a set against Nummerdor-Varenhorst but it was all they could achieve in the tournament so far. Unfortunately, their partnership is somewhat on hold, they have been even on a decline if you look at their game (and results) in the past months, even years. A lot of mistakes, an often targeted offensive player (Mariusz Prudel), lack of energy, etc. The only positive side is that their rivals for the lucky-loser play-offs (the Grimalt cousins) haven't shown anything spectacular so far either. I expected a bit more from the Chileans because they have had decent finishes this season and thought they might win a match or two, they haven't impressed on Copacabana yet. Perhaps they could do it against the shaky Fijalek-Prudel in a match in which the winner would stay in Rio a little longer.

  • The decisive third pool matches start promisingly. A very dramatic finish in Pool F. The highest seeded Americans there Gibb-Patterson are out! I am waiting for FIVB's confirmation on their website but based on the format they had announced Gibb-Patterson finish at the bottom due to the head-to-head loss against Huber-Seidl (1-2 record). The latter just lost to Jefferson-Cherif from Qatar who, thanks to the win against Herrera-Gavira in the second match, are now atop Pool F. Huber-Seidl are, on paper, a team that can exploited easily due to Huber's short size. The wind today is going to be a factor, for all teams as a matter fact, and the Austrians were clearly struggling.


    PS. I predicted two pools with more unpredictable results, this one I got right. But there are a lot more surprises which I couldn't predict at all :D


    EDIT: FIVB just updated their ranking and Herrera-Gavira are on top, although they shouldn't really. Let's see.

  • Im really socked that Brazil alreday lost 3 times...


    Generally, the men's field is more balanced than the woman's field and you see it more often that lower seeded teams are giving hard times to the "top teams", even more when there are difficult weather conditions.
    But still, Evandro/Pedro going out so early would be a surprise. Their match today vs. the latvians (22.30 CET) will surely be fun to watch.

  • Guys, take a look if you can at the Cubans Gonzalez-Nivaldo. Just once. Easily one of the few impressive teams in the tournament until now. I wish these guys participated regularly at the World Tour, they could dominate some events there. Three wins in one of the toughest groups in Rio, including against two of the favourites. They also change positions and take turns in defending and blocking. Great serves, great blocks, physically a very dominant team. Surely one of the physically protruding duos. Their win against Schalk-Saxton looked so easy like they didn't push themselves at all. I already liked the Cubans when they placed 9th at the 2015 WCH and I just wish, whatever the reasons are, probably the restrictive Cuban federation, they could take part in international events more.


    Schalk-Saxton will keep their fingers crossed for a Latvian win versus Pedro-Evandro. One of the most anticipated games in the program.


    It was my mistake yesterday. I guess FIVB takes points head-to-head ratio when two teams have the same amount of points. So Herrera-Gavira actually won Pool F, despite the head-to-head loss versus the Qatari.

  • I just watched Lucena-Dalhausser vs Nicolai-Lupo.. very entertaining match, especially the tie break that ended 24-22 for the americans. I think the italians did a good match but they don't have that killer instinct to finish it...the tournament is for them uphill, the defeat against the mexican duo is unexpected! I hope they can go high, as they show tonight that they can do good things.

  • It was my mistake yesterday. I guess FIVB takes points head-to-head ratio when two teams have the same amount of points. So Herrera-Gavira actually won Pool F, despite the head-to-head loss versus the Qatari

    Yes, it seems so. And obviously thats why Samoilovs/Smedins are down and out now. They probably had better lost the second set by a 2 point margin than going into a third set and loosing by big point margin there. But maybe im wrong here, its already late.....

  • The Cubans' game and thus the elimination battle between Pedro-Evandro and Samoilovs-Smedins surely was the highlights of the preliminary round. Whoever between the two would've gone out would surely be considered the second major upset of the tournament after the highly seeded Gibb-Patterson finished at the bottom of Pool F. Honestly, I am a bit sad that it had to be the Latvians, they are a team I really like and consider to be one of the best 5 in the world. However, the tradition I mentioned yesterday for Pedro-Evandro to always find a way to somehow to stay alive in such situations continues. Besides the fact that they often play three-setters, this time they won the tie-break after two failures previously. And now they can even make it further and reach, for instance, the Olympic final. One such victory could do miracles and I won't be surprised if they play for the gold even if they barely made it out of the group.


    It was way too late when the lucky-loser play-offs took place. I already commented on Fijalek-Prudel's recent form and therefore Schalk-Saxton's win is not a surprise. However, Losiak-Kantor's defeat came a bit unexpected to me. The Italians enjoyed good two sets against Lucena-Dalhausser last night, no question about that, and I am sure they had been more prepared for such an elimination match later on as the Poles had to wait for the whole tournament to unfold before they knew their destiny, play-off opponent, and match time. Maybe the Italians had a psychological advantage after all.


    I don't consider the Austrians Huber-Seidl to be the best among the third-placed teams but their pool scores were simply enough to make a small Austrian feast along swith countrymen Doppler-Horst. The bottom half of the elimination bracket is obivously stronger but as we have seen already, medals might be stormed by teams from the upper half.

  • Quarterfinals:


    Allison/Bruno vs. Dalhauser/Lucena (21 CET)
    Nummerdor/Varenhorst vs. Brouwer/Meeuwsen (22 CET)
    Nicolai/Lupo vs. Liamin/Barsuk (04 CET)
    Semenov/Krasilnikov vs. Diaz/Gonzalez (05 CET)


    USA vs. Brazil already in the quarters. Given the overall eveness of the men's field i would not consider this match an early final but for sure that is going to be the emotional highlight so far for this tournament. :super:
    I admit i haven't seen much of the tournament, so my predictions are rather "out of stomach" and of personal preference (i want to see Reinder with a medal :teach: )


    My pick for the semis:


    Lucena/Dalhauser vs. Nummerdor/Varenhorst
    Nicolai/Lupo vs. Semenov/Krasilnikov