Sunday’s women’s finale will be 93rd meeting between Brazil and the United States for a gold medal. Brazil has won 50 of the 92 previous title meetings with the Americans, including a 2-0 (22-20, 21-19) gold medal victory in 39 minutes over Sunday’s opponent Ross and Walsh Jennings at this past March’s FIVB World Tour stop in Vitoria, Brazil. The two teams also met for gold last August in the United States with the Brazilians also winning in two sets at the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach.
In the men’s finale, Brazil and The Netherlands will be playing for the 11th-time for a FIVB World Tour gold medal with the South Americans leading 6-4. The last title meeting between the two countries was a memorable as Alison and Bruno scored a 2-1 (12-21, 21-14, 22-20) win over Sunday’s opponent Nummerdor and Varenhorst at the 2015 FIVB World Championships on July 5 at The Hague.
When play opens Sunday at the Vodny Stadium Beach Sports Centre, the men’s and women’s bronze medal matches will be contested. Second-seeded Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson of the United States will play 17th-seeded Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak of Poland in the men’s third-place match. Fifth-seeded Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan of Canada duel with sixth-seeded Juliana Felisberta and Taiana Lima for the women’s bronze medal.
After eight-straight weeks of FIVB World Tour play in Qatar, China, Brazil, Russia, Turkey and the United States, the international circuit will take a week off before resuming play June 7-12 in Hamburg, Germany for the first of five SWATCH Major Series events.
HAMBURG MAJOR NEXT
The $800,000 Hamburg Major will be the last FIVB World Tour qualifying event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as the process started in April 2015 with events in China. With 24 teams competing in each gender’s Beach Volleyball competition at the Rio Summer Games, the top 15 pairs, excluding Brazilians with a maximum of two teams per country, will qualify for the Copacabana quadrennial from the FIVB World Tour.
Brazil earned its two Olympic spots per gender by winning the 2015 men’s (Alison/Bruno) and women’s (Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas) FIVB World Championships along with host nation berths (Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg and Talita/Larissa). The seven remaining berths for the Rio Olympics will be determined via the Continental Cup format.