Blitz: Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann Topple Brazil For Beach Volleyball Victory in London, Latvians Claim Third
It was a spectacle of massive hits Thursday at the Horse Guard’s Parade in London.
But although Brazilian bombers Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti threw down some of the most impressive kills of the evening, the two fell short of Germans Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann – who claimined a dramatic victory following an intensely heated battle (23-21, 16-21,16-14).
The impressive result marked the first-ever Beach Volleyball triumph at the Summer Games by a European team.
“That was a huge match with many highs and lows,” Reckermann said. “After we gave away the third match ball, my heart really sank. But the beach volleyball gods were on out side today.”
The certainly were.
The Germans raged into the contest looking to send a message – taking Set 1 with a combination of Reckermann’s brilliant play at the net to neutralize Brazil’s powerful attack, eight Brazilian service errors and 15 unforced Brazilian errors. A Reckermann kill would close it out.
Game 2 was a different story altogether, however.
Displaying just why they are one of the most impressive teams on the Planet, Emanuel and Alison opened up the set with a massive “roof” block by Alison, followed by an Emanuel kill to make it 7-5.
The pressure never relented from there as the Brazilian lead stretched to 17-0 following a joust at the net between Alison and Reckermann. A block would come next to all but put the set out of reach for the Germans.
The Final Set was no less of an all out battle of power, defense and big plays.
Opening it all up with a huge kill from Alison, the Germans would score three straight points to take the lead at 3-2. A big stuff block from Reckermann pushed it all to 9-7 and the lead would never relinquish from there.
Despite the South Americans tying the score at 14 after a furious rally and holding off three Match Points, they eventually fell to the on-point European duo, 16-14.
Conceding defeat, Emanuel had nothing but praise for the overall event in London.
“This has been the most beautiful and successful Games for beach volleyball as all the best teams were here,” the Brazilian said, who now enjoys a complete set of Summer Games podium finishes with a first, second and third. “We wanted to win the final, the final match was a great, great exhibition. We wanted to win, but sometimes you have to step back and say it was a great game.”
With a 2009 FIVB World Championship, Brink and Reckermann savored their step up to the plate on the world’s biggest sports stage.
“It is the biggest victory and biggest achievement in the sport,” Reckermann added. It’s amazing, fantastic.”
Rounding Out the Podium
The third place match was no less intense.
Latvia’s Janis Smedins and Martins Plavins emerged triumphant over the Netherlands’ Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Shuil 19-21, 21-19, 15-11.
The Eastern European squad was more than stoked on their podium finish after seeing their fellow countrymen find success in London.
“It is just amazing,” Smedins said. “We saw a Latvian (Ineta Radevica) finish fourth in the long jump last night and she missed bronze by a few centimeters. We knew we had one more chance to win a medal for Latvia. We don’t get too many medals for Latvia, so there was a lot of pressure.”