When the London cab driver realised he had Germans in the
back that night he came to life: “I saw your boys play!” he
exclaimed. “Wow, what an incredible display! You beat the
Brazilians at their own game. That’s absolutely fantastic. That’s
just like you beating us at cricket!”
Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann aren’t exactly unknowns in the
beach volleyball world, but the cabbie’s point was well made. The
duo’s gold medal performance at Horse Guards Parade was, without
a doubt, Team Germany’s biggest coup at London 2012.
Back home it had the nation transfixed, with 9.2 million people
watching the final live on TV – a staggering figure for a so-called
‘fringe’ sport. They were rewarded with a sporting spectacle
they’ll never forget for a number of reasons: first, it was a historic
achievement; second, the third and final set produced such drama;
and lastly, the two athletes who claimed gold for Germany captured
the hearts of the whole nation.
Gold was no more than Brink and Reckermann deserved after playing
out of their skins throughout the tournament. Even Emanuel Rego,
one half of the defeated Brazilian team and the most successful beach
Jonas Reckermann locks horns with Alison Cerutti of Brazil in the final
Germany volleyball captain Bjorn Andrae (right) and top scorer György
Grozer couldn’t miss the epic Olympic moment for their country
London was the first Olympics as a team for the 2009 world champions
Brink and Reckermann’s BRILLIANT ode to joy