| Event type

Beach Volleyball, Women

Date6 – 17 August 2016
LocationArena Copacabana, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
Participants48 from 17 countries
FormatTop 16 teams from round-robin pools advanced to the single-elimination tournament.

Despite being number three in the FIVB World Tour Rankings, the American pair of Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross were favourites for gold in Rio, largely due to Walsh Jennings’s record of never having lost a match at the Olympics. She had won 21 straight games and dropped just one set in three Olympics that saw her as champion (with Misty May) in 2004, 2008 and 2012. Her new partner, Ross, was a silver medallist in London four years earlier. Strangely, the new pairing reached only the last 16 at the 2015 World Championship, losing to the Chinese pair of Wang Fan and Yue Yuan, in a tournament that saw the Brazilian women dominate all three medal places with Bárbara Seixas and Ágatha Bednarczuk taking gold. They were considered serious contenders for the gold medal on home sand in Rio, as were the other local favourites Larissa França and Talita Antunes. The two Brazilian teams were seeded one and two in Rio, with Walsh Jennings and Ross number three, and with the German world number ones Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst ranked four.

As expected, Walsh Jennings and Ross qualified for the final 16 but not until a tense final match against the Swiss girls Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Vergé-Dépré. The Americans won 21-13, 22-24, 15-12 and it was the first set they had dropped in the 2016 competition and only the second that Walsh Jennings had dropped in her Olympic career. Larissa and Talita qualified without dropping a set as did Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernández of Spain. A vastly experienced duo, the Spaniards were one of six teams (men and women) to have competed at both London 2012 and Rio 2016, but they had the distinction of being the partnership who had played together the most and their opening game in Rio was their 420th match together. Perhaps the biggest names to fail to make it through the qualifying matches were those of the Americans Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat who finished bottom of their group.

The clash of the last 16 was between Larissa and Talita and the German seventh seeds, Karla Borger and Britta Büthe and it was the home favourites who came through 21-17, 21-19. The Spaniards Elsa and Liliana put up a great fight in losing to the FIVB 23rd ranked pair Yekaterina Birlova and Yevgeniya Ukolova of Russia, 21-23, 22-24, while the reigning world champions Bárbara and Ágatha won 21-12, 21-16 against the Chinese pair Wang and Yue. Kerry Walsh Jennings remained on course for her fourth consecutive gold medal with a straight sets win over the Italians Marta Menegatti and Laura Giombini, who came into the Italian team just three days before it started, after Viktoria Orsi Toth was banned after testing positive for a banned substance.

The Brazilian duos of Larissa and Talita and Bárbara and Ágatha reached the semi-finals, but Larissa and and Talita only did so after winning the match of the tournament against the Swiss pair Joana Heidrich and Nadine Zumkehr 21-23, 27-25, 15-13. The four Brazilians were joined in the semis by Ludwig and Walkenhorst of Germany and Ross and Walsh Jennings, who celebrated her quarter-final victory on her 38th birthday.

The semi-finalists were made up of the top four seeds and it was a mixed day for the partisan Brazilian crowd. Firstly they had to witness top seeds Larissa and Talita lose in straight sets to the Germans 21-18, 21-12, but then they witnessed a piece of Olympic beach volleyball history as American Kerri Walsh Jennings lost her first ever match at the Olympics as second seeds Bárbara and Ágatha won 22-20, 21-18 against Walsh Jennings and April Ross. Prior to this match Walsh Jennings had only lost two sets in her 26-match Olympic career, now that figure had doubled.

In the bronze medal match, which many expected to be the gold medal match before the start of the tournament, Walsh Jennings and Ross looked down and out midway through the second set against Larissa and Talita after losing the first 21-17 and were trailing by three points in the second, but the American girls picked themselves up and set up a deciding set with a 21-17 win. Walsh Jennings made some crucial blocks in the third as the Americans ran out 15-9 winners.

In the final, Bárbara and Ágatha were the first Brazilian pair to appear in a women’s final since 2004 and were hoping to become only the second Brazilian winners of the gold medal after Sandra Pires and Jackie Silva in 1976. For Germany it was their first appearance in the final and they were guaranteed their first ever women’s medal. Whilst the Brazilians had the fervent support of the packed Copacabana Beach Arena behind them, they were no match for the German’s Ludwig and Walkenhorst. A neck-and-neck first set played in a strong wind, saw the lead change hands five times and was eventually won by the Germans 21-18, but in the second set the European girls led from the start and ran out comfortable 21-14 winners to capture their first ever medal, and the first ever women’s beach volleyball medal by a European country as they emulated their male counterparts Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann who won gold in 2012.

1Laura Ludwig / Kira WalkenhorstGERGold
Laura Ludwig
Kira Walkenhorst
2Ágatha Rippel / BárbaraBRASilver
Ágatha Rippel
3Kerri Walsh Jennings / April RossUSABronze
Kerri Walsh Jennings
April Ross
4 Larissa / TalitaBRA
=5Joana Heidrich / Nadine ZumkehrSUI
Joana Heidrich
Nadine Zumkehr
=5Sarah Pavan / Heather BansleyCAN
Sarah Pavan
Heather Bansley
=5Louise Bawden / Taliqua ClancyAUS
Louise Bawden
Taliqua Clancy
=5Yevgeniya Ukolova / Yekaterina BirlovaRUS
Yevgeniya Ukolova
Yekaterina Khomyakova-Birlova
=9Karla Borger / Britta BütheGER
Karla Borger
Britta Büthe
=9Madelein Meppelink / Marleen van IerselNED
Madelein Meppelink
Marleen van Iersel
=9Jamie Broder / Kristina ValjasCAN
Jamie Broder
Kristina Valjas
=9Isabelle Forrer / Anouk Vergé-DépréSUI
Isabelle Forrer
Anouk Vergé-Dépré
=9Marta Menegatti / Laura GiombiniITA
Marta Menegatti
Laura Giombini
=9Kinga Kołosińska / Monika BrzostekPOL
Kinga Kołosińska
Monika Brzostek
=9Wang Fan / Yue YuanCHN
Wang Fan
Yue Yuan
=9Elsa Baquerizo / Liliana FernándezESP
Elsa Baquerizo
Liliana Fernández
=17Barbora Hermannová / Markéta SlukováCZE
Barbora Hermannová
Markéta Sluková-Nausch
=17Olaya Pérez / Norisbeth AgudoVEN
Olaya Pérez
Norisbeth Agudo
=19Lauren Fendrick / Brooke SweatUSA
Lauren Fendrick
Brooke Sweat
=19Ana Gallay / Georgina KlugARG
Ana Gallay
Georgina Klug
=19Mariafe Artacho / Nicole LairdAUS
Mariafe Artacho
Nicole Laird
=19Doaa El-Ghobashy / Nada MeawadEGY
Doaa El-Ghobashy
Nada Meawad
=19Sophie van Gestel / Jantine van der VlistNED
Sophie van Gestel
Jantine van der Vlist
=19Karen Cope / Natalia AlfaroCRC
Karen Cope
Natalia Alfaro

Preliminary Round

Date6 – 11 August 2016
FormatWinners and runners-up in each group advanced to round one, along with the highest ranked third-placed teams.

Group A

Date7 – 11 August 2016
1 Larissa / TalitaBRA33066-0126-84Q
2Kinga Kołosińska / Monika BrzostekPOL32144-3117-120Q
3Yevgeniya Ukolova / Yekaterina BirlovaRUS31222-5127-141q
4Lauren Fendrick / Brooke SweatUSA00302-6127-152
Match #107 Aug 10:00Centre CourtLarissa / TalitaBRA21-14, 21-16Ukolova / BirlovaRUS
Match #207 Aug 11:01Centre CourtKołosińska / BrzostekPOL14-21, 21-13, 15-7Fendrick / SweatUSA
Match #309 Aug 13:00Centre CourtKołosińska / BrzostekPOL21-19, 21-18Ukolova / BirlovaRUS
Match #409 Aug 16:39Centre CourtLarissa / TalitaBRA21-16, 21-13Fendrick / SweatUSA
Match #511 Aug 11:00Centre CourtLarissa / TalitaBRA21-10, 21-15Kołosińska / BrzostekPOL
Match #611 Aug 15:30Centre CourtUkolova / BirlovaRUS21-18, 24-26, 15-13Fendrick / SweatUSA

Group B

Date6 – 10 August 2016
1Elsa Baquerizo / Liliana FernándezESP33066-0127-101Q
2Ágatha Rippel / BárbaraBRA32144-3134-120Q
3Barbora Hermannová / Markéta SlukováCZE31223-5132-145q
4Ana Gallay / Georgina KlugARG30301-6106-133
Match #106 Aug 13:00Centre CourtBaquerizo / FernándezESP21-11, 21-19Gallay / KlugARG
Match #206 Aug 15:30Centre CourtRippel / BárbaraBRA19-21, 21-17, 15-11Hermannová / SlukováCZE
Match #308 Aug 11:20Centre CourtRippel / BárbaraBRA21-11, 21-17Gallay / KlugARG
Match #408 Aug 22:15Centre CourtBaquerizo / FernándezESP21-15, 21-19Hermannová / SlukováCZE
Match #510 Aug 17:30Centre CourtBaquerizo / FernándezESP21-17, 22-20Rippel / BárbaraBRA
Match #610 Aug 22:20Centre CourtHermannová / SlukováCZE13-21, 21-19, 15-8Gallay / KlugARG

Group C

Date6 – 10 August 2016
1Kerri Walsh Jennings / April RossUSA33066-1142-101Q
2Wang Fan / Yue YuanCHN32144-3124-124Q
3Isabelle Forrer / Anouk Vergé-DépréSUI31224-5165-171Q
4Mariafe Artacho / Nicole LairdAUS30301-6110-145
Match #106 Aug 23:11Centre CourtWang / YueCHN24-22, 18-21, 15-12Forrer / Vergé-DépréSUI
Match #207 Aug 0:34Centre CourtWalsh Jennings / RossUSA21-14, 21-13Artacho / LairdAUS
Match #308 Aug 10:00Centre CourtForrer / Vergé-DépréSUI19-21, 21-16, 21-19Artacho / LairdAUS
Match #409 Aug 0:00Centre CourtWalsh Jennings / RossUSA21-16, 21-9Wang / YueCHN
Match #510 Aug 13:36Centre CourtWang / YueCHN21-16, 21-11Artacho / LairdAUS
Match #610 Aug 21:01Centre CourtWalsh Jennings / RossUSA21-13, 22-24, 15-12Forrer / Vergé-DépréSUI

Group D

Date7 – 11 August 2016
1Laura Ludwig / Kira WalkenhorstGER33066-1138-103Q
2Jamie Broder / Kristina ValjasCAN32144-3121-118Q
3Marta Menegatti / Laura GiombiniITA31224-4138-128Q
4Doaa El-Ghobashy / Nada MeawadEGY30300-678-126
Match #107 Aug 18:48Centre CourtLudwig / WalkenhorstGER21-12, 21-15El-Ghobashy / MeawadEGY
Match #207 Aug 22:00Centre CourtBroder / ValjasCAN15-21, 21-18, 15-9Menegatti / GiombiniITA
Match #309 Aug 12:10Centre CourtMenegatti / GiombiniITA21-10, 21-13El-Ghobashy / MeawadEGY
Match #409 Aug 18:37Centre CourtLudwig / WalkenhorstGER21-17, 21-11Broder / ValjasCAN
Match #511 Aug 15:29Court 2Broder / ValjasCAN21-12, 21-16El-Ghobashy / MeawadEGY
Match #611 Aug 21:00Centre CourtLudwig / WalkenhorstGER21-18, 18-21, 15-9Menegatti / GiombiniITA

Group E

Date7 – 11 August 2016
1Sarah Pavan / Heather BansleyCAN33066-0126-102Q
2Joana Heidrich / Nadine ZumkehrSUI32144-3131-110Q
3Karla Borger / Britta BütheGER31222-4104-117q
4Sophie van Gestel / Jantine van der VlistNED30301-6105-137
Match #107 Aug 15:30Centre CourtPavan / BansleyCAN21-15, 21-17van Gestel / van der VlistNED
Match #207 Aug 21:00Centre CourtHeidrich / ZumkehrSUI21-12, 21-16Borger / BütheGER
Match #309 Aug 21:00Centre CourtBorger / BütheGER21-19, 21-14van Gestel / van der VlistNED
Match #410 Aug 23:59Centre CourtPavan / BansleyCAN21-18, 21-18Heidrich / ZumkehrSUI
Match #511 Aug 19:05Centre CourtHeidrich / ZumkehrSUI17-21, 21-11, 15-8van Gestel / van der VlistNED
Match #611 Aug 22:08Centre CourtPavan / BansleyCAN21-19, 21-15Borger / BütheGER

Group F

Date6 – 10 August 2016
1Louise Bawden / Taliqua ClancyAUS33066-1145-112Q
2Madelein Meppelink / Marleen van IerselNED32145-2144-121Q
3Olaya Pérez / Norisbeth AgudoVEN31222-493-119q
4Karen Cope / Natalia AlfaroCRC30300-696-126
Match #106 Aug 10:00Centre CourtBawden / ClancyAUS21-15, 21-14Cope / AlfaroCRC
Match #206 Aug 18:30Centre CourtMeppelink / van IerselNED21-17, 21-11Pérez / AgudoVEN
Match #308 Aug 17:41Centre CourtMeppelink / van IerselNED21-16, 21-16Cope / AlfaroCRC
Match #408 Aug 23:09Centre CourtBawden / ClancyAUS21-9, 21-14Pérez / AgudoVEN
Match #510 Aug 10:00Centre CourtBawden / ClancyAUS27-25, 18-21, 16-14Meppelink / van IerselNED
Match #610 Aug 18:30Centre CourtPérez / AgudoVEN21-16, 21-19Cope / AlfaroCRC

Lucky Loser Round

Date12 August 2016 — 0:04
FormatContested by third-place finishers in groups who did not advance automatically Winners of each match advanced to round one.
Match #112 Aug 0:04Court 2Ukolova / BirlovaRUS21-19, 12-21, 15-10Hermannová / SlukováCZE
Match #212 Aug 0:04Centre CourtBorger / BütheGER21-13, 21-8Pérez / AgudoVEN

Round One

Date12 – 13 August 2016
FormatWinners of each match advanced to the quarter-finals.
Match #112 Aug 16:00Centre CourtLarissa / TalitaBRA21-17, 21-19Borger / BütheGER
Match #213 Aug 20:00Centre CourtHeidrich / ZumkehrSUI19-21, 21-13, 15-10Meppelink / van IerselNED
Match #313 Aug 12:01Centre CourtPavan / BansleyCAN21-16, 21-11Broder / ValjasCAN
Match #413 Aug 15:00Centre CourtLudwig / WalkenhorstGER21-19, 21-10Forrer / Vergé-DépréSUI
Match #513 Aug 0:00Centre CourtWalsh Jennings / RossUSA21-10, 21-16Menegatti / GiombiniITA
Match #613 Aug 23:00Centre CourtBawden / ClancyAUS15-21, 21-16, 15-11Kołosińska / BrzostekPOL
Match #712 Aug 11:00Centre CourtRippel / BárbaraBRA21-12, 21-16Wang / YueCHN
Match #812 Aug 19:00Centre CourtUkolova / BirlovaRUS23-21, 24-22Baquerizo / FernándezESP


Date14 – 15 August 2016 — 16:00
FormatWinners of each match advanced to the semi-finals.
Match #114 Aug 17:00Centre CourtLarissa / TalitaBRA21-23, 27-25, 15-13Heidrich / ZumkehrSUI
Match #214 Aug 16:00Centre CourtLudwig / WalkenhorstGER21-14, 21-14Pavan / BansleyCAN
Match #315 Aug 0:02Centre CourtWalsh Jennings / RossUSA21-14, 21-16Bawden / ClancyAUS
Match #414 Aug 23:00Centre CourtRippel / BárbaraBRA23-21, 21-16Ukolova / BirlovaRUS


Date16 – 17 August 2016 — 16:00
FormatWinners of each match advanced to the final match.
Match #116 Aug 16:00Centre CourtLudwig / WalkenhorstGER21-18, 21-12Larissa / TalitaBRA
Match #217 Aug 0:13Centre CourtRippel / BárbaraBRA22-20, 21-18Walsh Jennings / RossUSA

Final Round

Date17 August 2016 — 22:00
Match 3/417 Aug 22:00Centre CourtWalsh Jennings / RossUSA17-21, 21-17, 15-9Larissa / TalitaBRA
Match 1/217 Aug 23:59Centre CourtLudwig / WalkenhorstGER21-18, 21-14Rippel / BárbaraBRA