London 2012

Press release

Brazil and Russia to contribute classy showdown for second round of action in men's tournament

The triple world champions of Brazil were more than pleased with their classy debut in the Olympic tournament whereby they downed Tunisia in straight sets on Sunday

London, Great Britain, July 30, 2012 – Brazil and Russia are set to contribute the absolute highlight in the second day of preliminary action for the men’s tournament at Earls Court on Tuesday. The triple world champions and 2008 silver medalists captained by Giba opened on Sunday their quest for Olympic glory by cruising to a 3-0 win over Tunisia while the winners of the 2011 FIVB World League and World Cup coached by Vladimir Alekno did the same as they played Germany for their debut in London.

These sides have developed a long-lasting rivalry with the last match dating back to last year’s World Cup where Brazil downed Russia in straight sets in what was the only defeat of Mikhaylov & Co. there in Japan. Since Pool B is packed with world-class teams, the outcome of this match may already significantly impact on the final standings of the group and hence in the composition of the 1/4 finals. “We are focused on doing a very good Olympics” had stated Giba on Sunday night after his side’s win over Tunisia.

Actually the daily program on Sunday will be opened by 2011 European champions Serbia who after losing on Sunday in straight sets to the USA will try to redeem that loss by powering past Tunisia. This will be the third time Serbia – formerly competing as Yugoslavia – and Tunisia cross their ways on the Olympic stage after two speedy wins claimed by the “Plavi” in Atlanta and Athens. Serbia will try to prolong its positive record against the Africans having claimed four wins in the international matches so far contested with Tunisia, having dropped only one set back in 1996.

The other match of the day for Pool B will see the United States take up the challenge brought by Germany. The guys mentored by Vital Heynen have enjoyed one of the most memorable seasons of the past decade and even edged the US Americans only a few weeks ago at the World League finals in a match that turned into a terrific battle that was claimed by Germany at the tie-break. If Clayton Stanley and his young guys have impressed in their opening match with Serbia, Germany will need to take a positive result from that game not to compromise their chances to make it to the 1/4 finals. Heynen has spotted – even before the start of the tournament – the USA as a serious contender for the gold medal by singling out the quality, experience and motivation of the side mentored by Alan Knipe. György Grozer will have to step up the quality of his play – which was not that impressive in his Olympic debut with Russia – to help Germany claim its first positive result at Earls Court.

In Pool A, after edging Italy 3-1 on Sunday, Poland got another boost of confidence and will try to delight once more a few thousands of fans perfectly dressed in their white and red outfits by playing Bulgaria for the second match on schedule at Earls Court on Tuesday. This is the fifth time Poland and Bulgaria are testing out their respective likes at the Olympics with the last Olympic confrontation dating back to Atlanta 1996 where Bulgaria scored a 3-0 win. Things have changed pretty much since then and only a few weeks ago Bartosz Kurek and his mates cruised to a speedy 3-0 win over Bulgaria in the semis of the World League. As they miss their superstar Matey Kaziyski, it won’t be easy for Bulgaria to stand Poland’s storm.

Italy will try to improve its record and get back on track after losing to Poland on Sunday by playing Argentina. With most of Argentina’s up-and-coming stars playing in Italy’s national league and their coach Javier Weber being very familiar with Italian volleyball, that game will feature two sides that know pretty well their respective strengths and weaknesses. This is the fifth game Italy will be playing with the South Americans at the Olympics, having so far a perfect record of 4 wins with only two sets conceded to the guys in white and blue jerseys. Italy stands out as the pre-favorite of this game having claimed also last year’s confrontation at the FIVB World Cup in Japan (3-1) but the young guys around FIVB hero Facundo Conte will try to cause a surprise as they are definitely enjoying their first Olympic appearance playing without any pressure.

To complete the schedule of Pool A, the hosts of Great Britain will vie for their first Olympic win by taking on Australia. As they have played some friendly matches in the past, Ben Pipes and Christopher Lamont said on Sunday they know most of Australia’s players and the game is going to be noisy. This is actually another clash to watch out for as the enthusiasm of the British crowd at Earls Court – some 15,000 people are supposed to be in attendance – may carry Team GB to its first victory thereby completing the tremendous development that this group has experienced since it was officially established back in 2007.

Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

27.12.2012 14:44:20
Olympic Beach Volleyball review – What to expect in Rio?
Lausanne, Switzerland, December 27, 2012 - As part of an end-of-year review series, the FIVB takes a look back at the success of beach volleyball at t... More...
26.12.2012 09:41:42
Olympic Volleyball review - Stunning finals highlight terrific tournament
Lausanne, Switzerland, December 26, 2012 - As part of an end-of-year review series, the FIVB takes a look back at the outstanding volleyball competiti... More...
20.12.2012 17:11:37
Beach volleyball voted one of the highlights of London 2012
Lausanne, Switzerland, December 20, 2012 – Beach volleyball has been named as one of the highlights of the 2012 London Olympic Games by More...
12.09.2012 18:24:41
Brink and Reckermann handling celebrity well
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 12, 2012 – With Europe’s first beach volleyball gold around their necks, Brink and Reckermann have become genuine... More...
28.08.2012 16:58:48
Walsh reflects on May-Treanor retirement, while her career moves ahead
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 28, 2012 – As three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh appears to have wrapped up her 2012 season, the FIVB looks back ... More...
24.08.2012 17:25:22
May-Treanor's retirement brings an end to the sport's greatest pairing
London, Great Britain, August 24, 2012 – Three weeks after the end of the London Olympics, the FIVB reflects on the amazing team of Misty May-Treano... More...
22.08.2012 09:57:22
Russia sets the bar high, but expect big changes from Brazil and USA, says Tom Hoff
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 22, 2012 - In a final retrospective on the London Olympics, former USA captain Tom Hoff talks about the Russian players ... More...
21.08.2012 14:57:51
Olympic beach volleyball sand distributed
London, Great Britain, August 20, 2012 - Over 4,000 tons of sand has been donated by The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) from the temporary b... More...
12.08.2012 18:31:48
Russia come from behind to win Olympic title after 32 years, Brazil and Italy get silver and bronze
London, Great Britain, August 12, 2012 – The last day of action of the men’s volleyball tournament at Earls Court provided all fans with the right... More...
12.08.2012 18:30:00
Brazilian legend Giba calls time on career
London, Great Britain, August 12, 2012 – Brazil captain and legend Giba has called time on his 20-year international career after the heart-breaking... More...