Brazil 2016: Beach Volleyball
The Wolf previews all the Beach Volleyball at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt (Brazil): The favourites after claiming 2015 FIVB World Tour honours. Bruno is the son of Brazil’s greatest ever basketballer. The duo have two tour wins this year and have reached the final of the last two Grand Slams but failed to win either. Short enough.
Nicholas Lucena and Phillip Dalhausser (USA): The Beijing Gold Medallist Dalhausser and new partner Lucena have won four times on tour this year including an important win in Hamburg. Ranked No.2 on tour this year. Consistent. Dalhausser has won the best setter gong in 6 of the last 7 years. No value though.
Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen (Netherlands): The No.9 pairing in the world have not won on tour all season with just two finals. Not going well enough. Severe unders. Did go well in the Rio Grand Slam event.
Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst (Netherlands): The second-ranked Dutch team but the duo did win the Moscow Grand Slam event. Ranked 17 in the world. Reached the semis at the last games. The pair can definitely put it all together.
Pedro Solberg and Evandro Goncalves Oliviera (Brazil): The second-rated Brazilian pairing and definitely the value pair. Ranked No.14 in the world but won in Gstaad and have a Grand Slam final under their belt this year. Definitely a bet.
Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins (Latvia): Outstanding value at $9. The duo are leading the 2016 World Tour and have a Grand Slam win under their belt already this year, as well as winning the last tournament leading into the Olympics. Smedins won bronze in 2012 and this team won the 2013 and ’14 tours. Have reached the semis of their last four tournaments.
Gold: Samoilovs and Smedins (Latvia)
Silver: Alison and Bruno (Brazil)
Bronze: Pedro and Evandro (Brazil)
Larissa Franca Maestrini and Talita Da Rocha Antunes (Brazil): Ranked No.6 in the world, home country advantage has pushed this duo to favouritism. Won in Gstaad and Vittoria this year and are the reigning World Tour winners but look gross unders against pairs in better form and with a stronger history on the big stage.
Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross (USA): Kerri Walsh Jennings has amazingly won three straight Olympic golds – all with partner Misty May – and will be looking to make it four on the trot with April Ross, who she defeated in the final in London. Won the Moscow and Rio Grand Slam. These are big match players. Should be favourites. The top selection for gold.
Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst (Germany): No pair comes into Rio in hotter form that German duo Ludwig and Walkenhorst. The No.1 pair in the world have reached the semis in their last five tournaments, winning three including the Olsztyn Grand Slam. Certainly the value selection.
Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas De Freitas (Brazil): Ranked No.20 in the world and seem ridiculously short. Finalists in Hamburg but have not reached the semis at a Grand Slam this year.
Madelein Meppelink and Marleen van Iersel (Netherlands): Have found themselves in the semis just twice this year on the World Tour. Van Iersel is a champion setter but seem a long way off the top three teams.
Sarah Parvin and Heather Barnsley (Canada): Reached the final in Porec but hard to see figuring in the medals.
Gold: Walsh Jennings and Ross (USA)
Silver: Ludwig and Walkenhorst (Germany)
Bronze: Larissa and Talita (Brazil)
Don’t forget to check out our full coverage of the Olympic Games.