London 2012

Press release

Men’s favourites out to make early mark in London

Phil Dalhausser (left) and Todd Rogers are in London to defend the gold medals they won at Beijing 2008

London, Great Britain, July 28, 2012 - The top two men’s teams will be determined to begin their Olympic campaigns in good form when they play their first matches of the London 2012 Olympic Games on day two of the beach volleyball competition on Sunday.

Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser of the USA begin their defence of the gold medal that they won at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games when they take on Japanese veterans Kentaro Asahi and Katsuhiro Shiratori in the penultimate match of the day at Horse Guard's Parade.

Rogers and Dalhausser will hope to avoid a repeat of their opening match at Beijing 2008 when they slipped to a surprise loss to Latvians Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Martins Plavins before they recovered to win gold by defeating Brazil’s Marcio Araujo and Fabio Luiz in the gold medal match.

FIVB Beach Volleyball world champions Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego meanwhile will seek to continue their strong run of form from the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour. In their last six World Tour events they have finished with two golds, three silver and a bronze.

The number one ranked pair start their Olympic campaign against Austria’s Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst. London 2012 is Emanuel’s fifth Olympic Games, but for Alison it is his first. Emanuel won gold with Ricardo Santos at Athens 2004 and they then added bronze together at Beijing 2008. Since 2010 he has played with Alison and as well winning the 2011 World Championships last, they also won the World Tour title.

Two European teams will play their opening matches of London 2012 with the eventual aim of becoming only the third European men’s team to win an Olympic medal in the 16-year history of beach volleyball at the Olympic Games.

Richard Schuil of The Netherlands won gold with the Dutch volleyball team at Atlanta 1996. He later switched to beach volleyball and this year he and Reinder Nummerdor have won two World Tour titles to confirm themselves as realistic challengers for a medal. They start against Igor Fernandez and Jesus Villafane, the first ever Venezuelan team to play at an Olympics.

Italians Nicolai Paolo and Daniele Lupo are at the other end of the age-scale from their Dutch contemporaries and have only been together since the end of 2011. They only just squeezed through to London 2012 at the final tournament of the Olympic qualification period, the smart Grand Slam, Rome.

Nonetheless they have won a silver and a bronze on the World Tour this year and play Swiss duo Patrick Heuscher and Jefferson Bellaguarda in the final match of the day. 

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