For the first time in Olympic history a European pair stood with
gold medals around their necks on a beach volleyball podium
after Germany’s Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann prevailed
over the No.1 seeds, Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti, in a
memorable men’s final at Horse Guards Parade. In a tense
denouement against the reigning world champions from
Brazil, Brink and Reckermann had to wait until their fourth
match point to clinch victory, winning 23-21, 16-21, 16-14.
“At 14-11 we lost three match points and we said, ‘Stop, not
this time’. It is unbelievable, there was so much pressure,” said
Reckermann, after a wayward Emanuel shot had assured the 2009
world champions and third seeds of their gold medal. “It is the biggest
gold and biggest achievement in the sport,” added the German, who
had only played his first tournament of the year – winning the CEV
European Championship – in June after a shoulder injury.
Even the vanquished Alison spoke of the final as a “great exhibition”.
The first set might easily have gone the Brazilians’ way but they
missed two set points while Brink and Reckermann seized on their
first opportunity. With Emanuel finding his form at the back of the
court and Alison a powerful presence at the net, the South Americans
restored parity in the second set before pushing the Germans all the
way in the third.
Emanuel Rego was unable to add a second gold medal to the one
he won in Athens in 2004
Germany reach Europe’s golden goal