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| Event type

Volleyball, Men

Date26 July – 9 August 1992
StatusOlympic
LocationPalau Sant Jordi, Barcelona / Pabellón de la Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona / Palacio de los Deportes, Barcelona
Participants142 from 12 countries
FormatRound-robin pools advanced teams to classification matches.

Twelve teams competed in two pools of six, followed by elimination and medals rounds. The teams were selected as follows: defending Olympic champion (United States), host nation (Spain), 1990 World Champion (Italy), World Cup (Korea, which placed only fifth in that event but were advanced as the top four had other qualifiers) African Champion (Algeria), Asian Champion (Japan), European Champion (Soviet Union), South American (Brazil), European qualifying tournament (Netherlands and France), and Americas qualifying tournament (Canada and Cuba).

The United States had won the 1984 and 1988 gold medals. But their best player, Karch Kiraly, had turned to beach volleyball, and they were no longer the best team in the world without him. The two favorites were Brazil and Italy. Italy had won the 1990 World Championships, the 1989 European Championships, and was the World League Champion in 1990-92.

In the first match of the tournament, Japan led the US two sets to one, and 14-13 in the fourth, when American Bob Samuelson was given a yellow card. As it was his second yellow card of the match, he should have been disqualified and the point, and the match, awarded to Japan. But the US came back to win in five sets after the referee waived off the disqualification. The USA had seemingly come back to win the fourth set, 17-16, and then won the fifth set, 16-14, to win the match. The next day Japan protested. It was upheld, and Japan was awarded the match, winning in four sets, 15-13 in the fourth. Samuelson was bald, so in his support, the US players shaved their heads before their next match. The USA made it to the medal round, but were soundly beaten by Brazil in four sets in the semi-final.

In the quarter-finals, the Netherlands shocked the favored Italians, winning 17-16 in the fifth set, and made it to the final, defeating Cuba in the semis. Brazil won the final easily in straight sets, 15-12, 15-8, 15-5. The Dutch team was the tallest in the tournament, averaging 2 metres (6-7) in height). The Dutch were coached by Arie Selinger, a Polish-born concentration camp survivor, who emigrated to Israel and later became a US citizen. He coached the US women’s team between 1975 and 1984, culminating in a silver medal in Los Angeles for the American women. He then started coaching the Dutch men’s team, which also included his son, Avital Selinger. The seventh place finish of the Unified Team was the worst finish by the Soviets/Unified in Olympic or World Championships history.

PosNrTeamNOCWLPtsSetsPoints
1BrazilBRA801624–3395–263Gold
2NetherlandsNED441214–14355–316Silver
3United StatesUSA531318–14425–385Bronze
4CubaCUB531317–11356–311
5ItalyITA621421–8400–301
6JapanJPN441214–19381–428
7Unified TeamEUN441217–15399–394
8SpainESP351113–21396–453
9Republic of KoreaKOR2486–13199–257
10CanadaCAN15711–15331–336
11FranceFRA2489–14245–290
12AlgeriaALG0660–18122–270

Preliminary Round (26 July – 3 August 1992)

Group A (26 July – 3 August 1992)

Round-robin pools.

PosNOCWLPtsSetsPoints
1ITA41913–5253–192
2USA32811–9267–242
3JPN32811–10262–271
4ESP32811–12283–299
5CAN14610–12286–279
6FRA1466–14200–268

Match #126 Jul 13:00JPN 13 – 1USA
Match #226 Jul 17:30ITA 3 – 1FRA
Match #326 Jul 19:00ESP 3 – 2CAN
Match #428 Jul 13:00USA 3 – 2CAN
Match #528 Jul 15:00FRA 3 – 2JPN
Match #628 Jul 19:00ITA 3 – 0ESP
Match #730 Jul 10:30ITA 3 – 0JPN
Match #830 Jul 13:00CAN 3 – 0FRA
Match #930 Jul 17:30USA 3 – 2ESP
Match #1001 Aug 13:00ESP 3 – 2JPN
Match #1101 Aug 17:30ITA 3 – 1CAN
Match #1201 Aug 19:00USA 3 – 0FRA
Match #1303 Aug 10:30JPN 3 – 2CAN
Match #1403 Aug 19:00ESP 3 – 2FRA
Match #1503 Aug 21:30USA 3 – 1ITA

Group B (26 July – 3 August 1992)

Round-robin pools.

PosNOCWLPtsSetsPoints
1BRA501015–2248–165
2CUB41913–5231–180
3EUN32811–7229–205
4NED2378–9218–181
5KOR1463–12142–212
6ALG0550–15100–225

Match #126 Jul 10:30CUB 3 – 1NED
Match #226 Jul 15:00EUN 3 – 0ALG
Match #326 Jul 21:30BRA 3 – 0KOR
Match #428 Jul 10:30CUB 3 – 0ALG
Match #528 Jul 17:30BRA 3 – 1EUN
Match #628 Jul 21:30NED 3 – 0KOR
Match #730 Jul 15:00KOR 3 – 0ALG
Match #830 Jul 19:00BRA 3 – 0NED
Match #930 Jul 21:30CUB 3 – 1EUN
Match #1001 Aug 10:30EUN 3 – 0KOR
Match #1101 Aug 15:00NED 3 – 0ALG
Match #1201 Aug 21:30BRA 3 – 1CUB
Match #1303 Aug 13:00EUN 3 – 1NED
Match #1403 Aug 15:00CUB 3 – 0KOR
Match #1503 Aug 17:30BRA 3 – 0ALG

Classification Round 5-8 (6 August 1992)

Classification matches.

Match #106 Aug 13:00ITA 3 – 0ESP
Match #206 Aug 16:30JPN 3 – 2EUN

Quarter-Finals (5 August 1992)

Single-elimination.

Match #105 Aug 10:30NED 3 – 2ITA
Match #205 Aug 13:00USA 3 – 1EUN
Match #305 Aug 19:00CUB 3 – 0ESP
Match #405 Aug 21:30BRA 3 – 0JPN

Semi-Finals (6 – 7 August 1992)

Single-elimination.

Match #107 Aug 10:30NED 23 – 0CUB 3
Match #207 Aug 19:00BRA 3 – 1USA

Final Round (5 – 9 August 1992)

Medal round.

Match 1/209 Aug 13:00BRA 3 – 0NED
Match 3/409 Aug 10:30USA 3 – 1CUB
Match 5/607 Aug 17:30ITA 3 – 0JPN
Match 7/807 Aug 15:00EUN 3 – 2ESP
Match 9/1005 Aug 17:30KOR 3 – 1CAN
Match 11/1205 Aug 15:00FRA 3 – 0ALG

Rankings

Points