Brazil claim gold
in magical performance
Greece, August 29, 2004 – World champions Brazil added
another trophy to their burgeoning collection after
winning the gold medal in the 2004 Olympic Games men’s
Volleyball competition with a stunning 3-1 (25-15,
24-26, 25-20, 25-22) victory over Italy at the Peace and
Friendship Stadium on Sunday.
It was a spectacular performance from the world number
one team with Giba, who was voted the Most Valuable
Player, Heller, Gustavo, Dante, Sergio and Ricardo all
in exquisite form, posing plenty of problems for a brave
Italian side, who despite claiming one set, couldn’t
repeat their “perfect” semifinal performance against
"We have two gold medals now, one for the World
Championship and one for the Olympic Games. That is all
that matters,” Giba said. “We are winners. We were here
for the first place, every player had this and only this
in his mind. I am so happy."
The gold medal triumph completes a cycle where Brazil
have won every trophy available on the international
circuit, including the 2002 World Championship, the 2003
& 2004 World League and the 2003 World Cup titles.
“I want to congratulate my team because it was tough to
win, we had the weight of a nation on our shoulders,”
Brazilian coach Bernardo Rezende said. “It wasn’t easy
leaving Brazil knowing that we were expected to win.
That is a major strength of this team, holding together
despite the pressure and being a team rather than a
bunch of individuals. We deserved it because we held our
poise and that will be the legacy of this team.”
The only country to compete in all 11 Olympic Volleyball
competitions, Brazil now has two golds and a silver
after beating the Netherlands in the final in 1992 in
Barcelona. Sunday's silver medal was Italy's fourth
Olympic medal in addition to two bronze medals and a
second-place finish in the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Earlier in the day Russia proved too powerful for USA as
they claimed the bronze medal with a convincing 3-0
(25-22, 27-25, 25-16) victory.
“We are very happy, it was a great match,” Russian
captain Vadim Khamuttskikh said. “It was something like
a compensation for our earlier defeats. The medal is
satisfactory but in the next Olympic Games we will try
for better results. I hope that back home, people are
satisfied with our medal.”
Brazil and Italy
into Olympic final
28 August – World champions Brazil and European
champions Italy will fight it out for the Men's
Volleyball gold medal on Sunday at the Peace and
Friendship Stadium in a repeat of the World League
final, which Brazil won 3-1 (27-25 25-19 25-27 25-17).
Brazil and Italy go head-to-head at 14:30. Their match
up in the preliminary round gave an insight into what
one can expect in the final with Brazil claiming a
breathtaking tiebreaker that finished at 33-31.
Brazil have won eight of the last 10 official match ups
against Italy over the past four years.
Italy was third at Sydney 2000, while Brazil’s last
appearance on the Olympic podium was back at Barcelona
1992, when it won the gold medal.
Brazil leads the head-to-head statistics in four
different categories; the scoring spikers, non-scoring
diggers, non-scoring setters and non-scoring receivers.
Meanwhile Italy tops the scoring servers of the
tournament with 50 service aces so far.
Top wing spiker Gilberto GODOY FILHO, Dante Guimaraes
AMARAL and efficient universal Andre NASCIMENTO are the
stars of Brazil, while serve-master Andrea SARTORETTI,
the agile Samuele PAPI and five time Olympian Andrea
GIANI have been the go-to-guys for Italy so far.
Russia and the United States will battle for the last
place on the podium in the bronze medal match at 12:30.
In the preliminaries Russia beat the United States in
Russia came second in Sydney, while USA’s last Olympic
medal was at Seoul 1988, when they won their second
consecutive gold medal.