Brazilian Men's Volleyball Team Defeats Italy to Win Gold in Rio
Following the orders of Bernardinho in his sixth consecutive Olympic Games as the team's medal-winning coach (two gold, two silver and two bronze).
Led by Serginho, the most recent two-time Olympic champion and the only Brazilian in team sports to win four medals (two gold and two silver). With the support of Wallace, the number one scorer in the final match (20 points) and in the Rio Olympic Games, with a total of 137.
That was how the Brazilian men's volleyball team won its third Olympic gold medal on Sunday, August 21, in the last day of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, as it defeated Italy 3-0 (25/22, 28/26 and 26/24).
The Brazilian team has reached the most Olympic volleyball finals (six), but had lost the two previous final matches. However, in the Maracanãzinho arena, the team faced the same adversary it had defeated for the last gold it took in 2004.
Playing against the Italian team was a good sign up until the beginning of the Rio Olympics. In the previous games, Brazil had won nine matches against their rival – which never won the gold medal.
It was exactly in the so-called Temple of Volleyball, however, that Italy defeated Bernardinho's team 3-1 in the first phase.
At that point in the first phase, Brazil was one defeat away from leaving the competition (and, consequently, their worst performance in an Olympic competition). In the last round of the first phase, the Italian team decided to spare starting players and made 34 mistakes in the match against Canada, lost and put the Brazilian team in check.
Brazil won and passed to the playoffs but the pressure on the team did not end in the quarterfinal game against Argentina.
The landslide victory against Russia in the semifinal, however, gave the team the confidence they needed for the final match.
Translated by THOMAS MUELLO