| Event type

Volleyball, Women

Date28 July – 11 August 2012
LocationEarls Court Exhibition Centre, Kensington and Chelsea, London
Participants143 from 12 countries
FormatRound-robin pools advanced teams to classification matches.

Brazil was the defending champion, having defeated the United States in the Beijing final. The two teams came into London seeded 1-2, with the United States having a slight edge. They were joined by 10 other teams, who had qualified in various ways. The USA was in from the 2011 World Cup standings, joined by second-ranked Italy, and third-ranked China, the 2008 bronze medalists. Five nations qualified via continental tournaments (Algeria, Dominican Republic, Japan, Turkey, and the defending champions Brazil). In May 2012 a World Qualifier added Russia, Korea (South), and Serbia. Host nation Great Britain was also given a spot in the London tournament. Britain had never competed in volleyball at the Olympics previously, for either men or women, but their women did manage one victory in pool play, defeating Algeria.

In Pool A, Russia won all five matches to advance over Italy, Japan, and the Dominican Republic. The United States dominated Pool B, winning all five matches, while losing only two sets. Brazil struggled, placing fourth in the pool to narrowly advance to the knock-out stage. Brazil faced Russia in the quarter-finals, and survived in five sets, winning 21-19 in the fifth. The United States continued their dominance, defeating the Dominican Republic in the quarters, and Korea in the semis, both by 3-0 scores.

After Brazil defeated Japan easily in the semis, 3-0, the final was a repeat of the Beijing final. This had also happened in 1972-76, with Japan and the Soviet Union meeting in the final match. Japan and the Soviets had also been the top two in 1964-68, but that was a purely round-robin format.

The United States, based on their easy path in London, seemed poised to win their first-ever women’s volleyball gold, after silvers in 1984 and 2008, and a bronze in 1992. But they were crushed in the first set of the final, 25-11, and although they won the second set, Brazil romped to a 3-1 victory to defend their gold medal – 25-11, 17-25, 25-20, 25-17. Their second consecutive gold was added to bronze medals won by Brazilian women in 1996 and 2000.

Japan had once been the dominant women’s nation in volleyball, winning the inaugural Olympic gold in 1964, and adding silvers in 1968-72, and another gold in 1976. But they had not won an Olympic medal since a bronze in 1984. In London, they were seeded #3 by the FIVB and the seedings held as they defeated Korea for the bronze medal in straight sets, to earn their sixth Olympic medal, equalling the former Soviet Union for the most ever in women’s Olympic volleyball, although in 1992 the Unified Team also won silver in women’s volleyball.

2United StatesUSA7122–5655–552Silver
4Republic of KoreaKOR3514–17673–686
=5People's Republic of ChinaCHN3313–13590–578
=5Dominican RepublicDOM248–12431–437
=5Russian FederationRUS5117–7573–466
=9Great BritainGBR143–14295–398

Preliminary Round (28 July – 5 August 2012)

Round-robin pools.

Group A (28 July – 5 August 2012)

Round-robin pool. Top four in each pool advanced to quarter-finals.


Match #128 Jul 9:30JPN 3 – 0ALG
Match #228 Jul 14:45RUS 3 – 0GBR
Match #328 Jul 16:45ITA 3 – 1DOM
Match #430 Jul 14:45RUS 3 – 1DOM
Match #530 Jul 20:00ITA 3 – 1JPN
Match #630 Jul 22:20GBR 3 – 2ALG
Match #701 Aug 9:30JPN 3 – 0DOM
Match #801 Aug 11:30RUS 3 – 0ALG
Match #901 Aug 16:45ITA 3 – 0GBR
Match #1003 Aug 12:25RUS 3 – 1JPN
Match #1103 Aug 17:40DOM 3 – 0GBR
Match #1203 Aug 22:00ITA 3 – 0ALG
Match #1305 Aug 9:30DOM 3 – 0ALG
Match #1405 Aug 14:45JPN 3 – 0GBR
Match #1505 Aug 16:45RUS 3 – 2ITA

Group B (28 July – 5 August 2012)

Round-robin pool. Top four in each pool advanced to quarter-finals.


Match #128 Jul 11:30CHN 3 – 1SRB
Match #228 Jul 20:00USA 3 – 1KOR
Match #328 Jul 22:30BRA 3 – 2TUR
Match #430 Jul 9:30CHN 3 – 1TUR
Match #530 Jul 12:00KOR 3 – 1SRB
Match #630 Jul 17:15USA 3 – 1BRA
Match #701 Aug 14:45TUR 3 – 0SRB
Match #801 Aug 20:00USA 3 – 0CHN
Match #901 Aug 22:05KOR 3 – 0BRA
Match #1003 Aug 9:30BRA 3 – 2CHN
Match #1103 Aug 15:00TUR 3 – 2KOR
Match #1203 Aug 20:00USA 3 – 0SRB
Match #1305 Aug 11:30CHN 3 – 2KOR
Match #1405 Aug 20:00USA 3 – 0TUR
Match #1505 Aug 22:00BRA 3 – 0SRB

Quarter-Finals (7 August 2012)

Winner of each match advanced to semi-finals.

Match #107 Aug 15:50BRA 3 – 2RUS
Match #207 Aug 13:00JPN 3 – 2CHN
Match #307 Aug 21:05KOR 3 – 1ITA
Match #407 Aug 19:10USA 3 – 0DOM

Semi-Finals (9 August 2012)

Winner of each match advanced to final round.

Match #109 Aug 19:30BRA 3 – 0JPN
Match #209 Aug 15:00USA 3 – 0KOR

Final Round (11 August 2012)

Medal round.

Match 1/211 Aug 18:30BRA 3 – 1USA
Match 3/411 Aug 11:30JPN 3 – 0KOR


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