| Event type

Volleyball, Men

Date24 July – 7 August 2021
LocationAriake Arena, 1 Chome-11-1 Ariake, Koto City, Tokyo, Japan
Participants143 from 12 countries
FormatRound-robin pools advanced teams to classification matches.

Twelve teams took part in the Olympic volleyball tournament including Brazil, the only team to have competed at all fifteen previous Olympic volleyball tournaments. Ten out of 12 teams were at the very top of the ratings of the International Volleyball Federation, but the very strong teams of Serbia and Slovenia did not get to the Olympics. Tunisia (19th) and Venezuela (48th place) played instead, as it was necessary to ensure the principle that each continent would have a participant in the tournament. The last two World Championships were won by the team of Poland, and second place was taken by Brazil. These two teams were the favorites at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

In the first round, the Polish team surprisingly lost to Iran with a score of 2-3 but, despite this, Poland took first place in Group A and justified their status as the favorite. As a result, the teams of Iran and Venezuela were rather predictably eliminated from this group. In group B, quite unexpectedly, first place was taken by the team of the Russian Olympic Committee, with second place captured by Brazil. In the penultimate round of the preliminary round, the ROC team lost to the French team and allowed them to take fourth place. The US team, which performed very poorly at this stage of the competition, sensationally failed to progress to the quarterfinals along with Tunisia. The Americans, who qualified for Tokyo whilst ranked second in the world, only finished fifth in their group.

The next stage of the competition confirmed the strength of Group B, as none of the teams from Group A made it to the semifinals. Thus, the big four of Argentina, Brazil, France and the Russian Olympic Committee were formed. In this final quartet, the Brazilian team, the champion of the Olympic Games in Rio, was considered the favorite, the team having won medals during the last four Olympics. But then came a sensation: first Brazil lost to ROC and then, in the match for the bronze medal, to Argentina. For the first time in the last five Olympics, a strong Brazilian team left empty-handed.

The surprises only continued. The title was taken by the French team, which defeated the ROC national team in a very closely contested match that was decided by a tie-break set. France had taken part in the Olympic Games on five occasions without rising above the eighth place. Third place was taken by the Argentine team. This was only the second medal success of this country at the Olympic Games, after winning a bronze medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

2Russian Olympic CommitteeROC––––––Silver
9Islamic Republic of IranIRI––––––
10United StatesUSA––––––


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