Brazil’s Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt made partial amends for the heartbreak suffered by their female counterparts by emphatically claiming the Rio 2016 men’s beach volleyball title.
The reigning world champion duo won in straight sets over Italian opponents Lupo and Nicolai in another raucous nighttime atmosphere in the makeshift arena on Copacabana Beach.
They won a tight first set 21-19 before always keeping their opponents at arms length to win the second, 21-17.
When an Italian block drifted wide on match point, the duo celebrated fanatically, knowing they had delivered despite the pressure of being among the most highly regarded home favorites of these Games.
They become the second male beach volleyball Olympic champion Brazil after Athens 2004 winners Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos.
They were presented with their gold medals by Brazilian International Olympic Committee member and former volleyball player, Bernard Rajzman.
Lupo and Nicolai still performed well to secure Italy’s first men’s Olympic medal in the sport.
The Netherlands’ also gained an inaugural podium placing as Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen overcame Russian rivals Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Konstantin Semenov in the earlier bronze medal match.
They triumphed 23-21, 22-20 in two tight sets.
By Nick Butler
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz