London, Great Britain, August 10, 2012 – As the sand settled, Big Ben’s hands went back where they belong after nearly two weeks of adoringly continuous clapping, the London Eye went back into its normal socket and the venue prepared to return to its normal pristine self, the men’s final four teams also finished among the leaders in multiple team and individual statistical categories as the final curtain fell on this ultimate stage as this year’s beach volleyball competition of the London 2012 Olympic Games concluded after 11 days of heroic jousting action.
All the crowd-pleasing, heart-pounding action was held in the purpose-built, 15,000-seat stadium on the grounds of the iconic Horse Guards Parade as the majestic venue includes a portion of adjacent St. James’s Park in historic central London. A total of over 400,000 spectators attended the beach volleyball competition at this year’s London 2012 Olympic Games.
The men’s medal matches were held Thursday night as the final curtain fell on the most celebratory beach volleyball competition in Olympic Games history. Impressive team and individual official statistics continue to reflect the depth and quality of the field here at Horse Guards Parade.
Winning the the men’s gold medal match in showcase joust Germany’s third-seeded Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann with spectacular jousting like knights of old on the hallowed grounds to champion their cause in three amazing sets, two which went to overtime over Brazil’s top-seeded Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego, 21-23, 21-16 and 16-14 in one hour and two minutes that seemed to be a moment frozen in time for antiquity.
In the men’s bronze medal match in the palatial stadium at Horse Guards Parade it was Latvia’s surprising 17th-seeded Martins Plavins/Janis Smedins who gallantly rode from behind in three-sets to out-joust Netherlands’ veteran fifth-seeded Reinder Nummerdor/Richard Schuil, 19-21, 21-19 and 15-11 in 56 minutes.
Again, through Thursday’s Day 11 (August 9 the final day) of this Olympic Games competition, of the 54 men’s matches held, 38 were two-set matches with eight seed breakthroughs with an average time of 39 minutes per match. The 16 matches that went to the tie-break had seven seed breakthroughs with an average time of 56 minutes.
As a team, Germany’s Brink/Reckermann led one category and was third in another while individually, Reckermann and Brink were first and second in one category and Reckermann led two and was second in another. In the team category, Germany’s Brink/Reckermann were first in aces with 23 and were second in blocks with 31. In individual stats, Reckermann was first in points with 148, first in aces with 13 and second in blocks with 37 while Brink was second to Reckermann in aces with 10.
This was the second Olympic Games for both Brink and Reckermann, but their first together and they gave Germany its first Olympic beach volleyball gold medal and second medal overall in the sport.
Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel, with Alison competing in his first Olympic Games and Emanuel his fifth, led one category as a team and were second in another and individually they won one category as well. As a team, the Brazilians had the most blocks at a team with 38 and they were second in digs with 127 while Individually, Alison led the tournament in blocks with 37 and Emanuel was third in digs with 85.
While Alison won his first Olympic medal, it was Emanuel’s third and the silver game him a complete set as he won the gold in Athens 2004 and the bronze in Beijing 2008 playing with Ricardo Santos the first two medal times. Emanuel, at 39 years, three months and two days at the time of the gold medal match, is the oldest player to win a beach volleyball medal in the Olympic Games.
Giving their country its first beach volleyball medal and first final four finish, Latvia’s Plavins/Smedins, had the most team digs with 139, Plavins was first in individual digs with 107 and second in points with 140.
Netherlands’ Nummerdor/Schuil, who finished fourth in London 2012 after a fifth-place finish in Beijing 2008, were third in digs as a team with 109, and individually Nummerdor was second in digs with 88 and Schuil was third in points with 133.
In the other team stats category, Brazil’s seventh-seeded Pedro Cunha/Ricardo Santos, who finished fifth in this year’s Olympics, had the highest attack success percentage of 59%.
In the team stats categories, the other top performers were: in aces, second was Germany’s eighth-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik with 15 and third was USA’s second-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers with 12.
In total blocks by a team, Italy’s 13th-seeded Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai were third with 29.
In team attack success percentage, second was Lativia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Ruslans Sorokins at 56%.
Individually, Russia’s Konstantin Semenov and USA’s Dalhausser tied in attack success percentage with 66% and Dalhausser tied for third with Germany’s Matysik with nine total aces.
In the final individual catagory, the fastest serve was recorded by Latvia’s Ruslans Sorokins (top serve speed, 99 km/h).
In blocks, Italy’s Paolo Nicolai finished with 29. Third in attack success percentage was Brazil’s Ricardo at 63%.
In some of the miscellaneous numbers, the longest men’s match for this year’s Olympic Games was one hour, nine minutes whenSwitzerland’s Sabastian Chevallier/Sascha Heyer defeated Russia’s Prokopyev/Semenov, 28-26, 18-21 and 15-13 on July 30. The shortest men’s match length during these Games was 33 minutes when USA’s Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal defeated South Africa’s Freedom Chiya/Grant Goldschmidt, 21-10, 21-11 on July 28.
The highest scoring men’s set was 29-27 in the first set during Prokopyev/Semenov’s win over China’s Penggen Wu/Linyin Xu on August 1.
The highest score for a two-set match is 89 when Brazil’s Cerutti/Emanuel Rego beat Italy’s Lupo/Nicolai, 26-24, 21-18 in 43 minutes on August 2.
The highest score for a three-set match is 121 from two matches: Switzerland’s Sascha Heyer/Chevallier beat Russia’s Prokopyev/Semenov, 28-26, 18-21 and 15-13 in 69 minutes in July 30 and on August 1 when Russia’s Prokopyev/Semenov defeated China’s Wu/Xu, 29-27, 17-21 and 15-12 in 67 minutes.
For single-match highs, statistical leaders for the London 2012 Olympic Games were:Canada’s Martin Reader (aces-5), tied for most blocks in a match were Germany’s Erdmann (v Irog Hernandez/Jesus Villafane, VEN, 02.08 and USA’s Dalhausser (v Kentaro Asahi/Katsuhiro Shiratori, JPN, 29.07) with nine each, and Russia’s Sergey Prokopyev had a match-hight 29 digs (v Sebastian Chevallier/Sascha Heyer, SUI (30.07). Brazil’s Alison and Ricardo tied for second with single game highs of eight blocks with Cerutti getting it twice and Ricardo once. In digs in a single match, Switzerland’s Chevallier was second with 26 and USA’s Rogers was third with 25.
For complete final coverage of London 2012 Olympic beach volleyball, visit www.fivb.org.
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