|Dates||24 July – 7 August 2021|
After the 2016 Rio beach volleyball tournament, which was played on the sport’s “spiritual home” of the Copacabana Beach, the 2020 event was held at the magnificent purpose-built temporary stadium in Tokyo’s Shiokaze Park. The park is the largest on the waterfront area of Odaiba and is home to more than 10,000 trees and other plants. From the park, the spectators could enjoy superb views of Tokyo Bay and the iconic Rainbow Bridge. The stadium could house 12,000 spectators.
Although the sport’s roots are in the USA, beach volleyball is now as synonymous with Brazil as much as football, and they, along with the USA have now dominated the Olympic competition. In the six Olympic competitions since débuting in 1996, the two countries have won nine of the 12 gold medals that have been on offer, with the USA winning six to Brazil’s three going into Tokyo 2020.
Matches were played to the best-of-three-sets. The first team to win 21 points (with at least a two-point margin) won the set. That applied to the first two sets only. If a third, deciding set was needed, then it was the first to 15, again with a minimum of a two-point margin. In the men’s event, Brazil, Germany, Spain, and USA were all appearing in their seventh tournament while Morocco was making its début. In the women’s competition, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Netherlands and the United States were all appearing for the seventh time while making their débuts were Kenya and Latvia. For the first time since beach volleyball was introduced into the Olympic programme in 1996, there was not at least one Brazilian team in the semi-finals of either the men’s or women’s events.
The men’s competition was contested by two first-time finalists, Norway and ROC, and it was the Norwegian No.1 pairing of Anders Mol and Christian Sørum who beat the reigning world champions Vyacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovsky to capture the gold medal. Qatar, through Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan, won their first Olympic beach volleyball medal in beating Latvia for the bronze medal.
The United States women won their fourth gold medal in the last five Olympics, when Alix Klineman and April Ross beat the Australians Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho. It was Australia’s first appearance in the women’s final since the sport was inaugurated in 1996.
|Beach Volleyball, Men||Olympic||24 July – 7 August 2021||48||19|
|Beach Volleyball, Women||Olympic||24 July – 6 August 2021||46||16|
|94 (48/46)||23 (19/16)|
|Beach Volleyball, Men||Norway||NOR||ROC 2||ROC||Qatar||QAT|
|Beach Volleyball, Women||United States 1||USA||Australia||AUS||Switzerland 2||SUI|