London, Great Britain, August 8, 2012 – Like the end of a run of a popular London stage production, the men’s competition will end with Thursday’s medal matches, including the featured battle for the gold medal between Brazil’s Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego facing the big joust with Germany’s Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann as the London 2012 Olympic Games beach volleyball competition comes to a poetic closing at Horse Guards Parade in central London, the most colorful venue at the XXX Olympiad.
A total 24 men’s beach volleyball teams from 19 countries started playing in London July 28 in the purpose-built, sold-out 15,000-seat stadium on the grounds of the iconic Horse Guards Parade as the majestic venue also includes a portion of adjacent St. James Park in historic central London.
Advancing from three matches in pool play and two elimination rounds to their semifinal victories, meeting for London 2012 Olympic Games beach volleyball gold at 9 p.m. on Thursday be Brazil’s top-seeded Alison/Emanuel, who will meet a FIVB SWATCH World Tour rival in Germany’s third-seeded Brink/Reckermann
Meeting in the bronze medal match at 7 p.m. on Thursday will be Latvia’s 17th-seeded Martins Plavins/Janis Smedins playing against Netherlands’ fifth-seeded Reinder Nummerdor/Richard Schuil.
Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel won their semifinal match over Latvia’s Plavins/Smedins, 21-15, 22-20 in 40 minutes and Germany’s Brink/ Reckermann won their semifinal in fairly easy fashion as well, defeating Netherlands’ Nummerdor/Schuil, 21-14, 21-16 in just 39 minutes.
Brazil vs. Germany for London gold
Both undefeated at 6-0 in this year’s Olympic Games, Brazil’s top-seeded 2011 FIVB SWATCH World Champions and 2011 FIVB SWATCH World Tour champs Alison/Emanuel and Germany’s Brink/Reckermann, 2009 FIVB SWATCH World Champions, have met eight times already in international matches with the Brazilian’s leading 5-3 including winning the last four straight.
Their most recent meeting was June 11 of this year in Moscow where Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel came from behind in three sets, 15-21, 21-14 and 18-16 in 57 minutes. The last victory for Germany’s Brink/Reckermann was June 18, 2010 in Prague, Czech Republic, 21-17, 21-19 in 47 minutes.
For Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel, this is their 32nd international event as a team with 23 final four appearances with seven gold medals, seven silver, seven bronze and one fourth place finish.
Emanuel, 39, is competing in his fifth consecutive Olympic Games with a gold medal in Athens in 2004 and bronze medal in 2008 in Beijing playing with Ricardo Santos while it is the first for Alison, 26.
For Germany’s Brink, 30, Reckermann, 33, this is second Olympics for each but first as team. They have been playing together since 2009, this is their 33rd international event and they 23 final four appearances with four gold medals, seven silver, nine bronze and three fourth place finishes.
Brink in 2008 and Reckerman in 2004 are both two-time Olympians, but played with different partners their first time.
Netherlands vs. Latvia for bronze
This is the first final four appearance in the Olympic Games by men’s teams from both Latvia and the Netherlands and this bronze medal match will be a rematch from pool play when the Lavtians won.
In their international series history, Netherlands leads 4-1, but Latvia’s Plavins/Smedins won their most recent match during pool play her in London on August 2 in two sets, 21-14, 21-18 in 38 minutes.
For Netherlands’ Nummerdor, 35, and Schuil, 39, who were fifth in 2008 Beijing Olympics, they have been playing together since 2006. This is their 69th international event as a team and they have earned 21 final four appearances with nine gold medals, five silver, two bronze and four fourth place finishes.
Latvia’s Plavins/Smedins are competing in their 28th international event and have three final four appearances with one silver and one fourth place finish. For Latvia, This is the second Olympic Games for Plavins, 27, who played with Aleksandrs Samoilovs in 2008, and the first for Smedins, 25.
For current information on the event, visit www.fivb.org.
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