| Event type

Volleyball, Men

Date7 – 21 August 2016
LocationGinásio do Maracanãzinho, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro
Participants141 from 12 countries
FormatRound-robin pools advanced teams to classification matches.

Twelve countries took part in a total of 38 matches. Brazil qualified automatically as hosts, and were joined by the top two teams in the 2015 FIVB World Cup in Japan, USA and Italy. Also qualified were the winners of five Continental Olympic Qualification Tournaments in Africa (Egypt), Asia (Iran), Europe (Russia), NORCECA - North, Central America & Caribbean - (Cuba) and South America (Argentina). The compliment of 12 teams was made up with four teams (Poland, France, Canada and Mexico) coming through two Olympic Qualification Tournaments held in Japan and Mexico.

The men’s tournament was one of the best seen at the Olympic Games for many years with any one of the eight quarter-finalists capable of winning the gold medal. The top six seeds all made it through to the last eight, and they included the reigning World Champions Cup winners Brazil, the 2014 World Champions Poland, and the 2015 World Cup winners, USA. However, another of the fancied teams, France, the 2015 European Champions and World League winners failed to qualify out of their pool following defeats by the strong trio of Italy, USA and Brazil. Canada were the surprise team in Pool A, finishing second with Brazil just qualifying in fourth place. The United States finished third but looked like heading for an early exit after losing their first two matches to Canada and Italy.

Argentina, Poland and Russia all qualified from pool B after four wins each, and they were joined by Iran who had an impressive début tournament, making it to the quarters where they lost 3-0 to Italy. The US progressed to the semi-finals after also winning 3-0 in the last eight against Poland, and Russia’s 3-0 win over Canada also assured them a place in the last four, which was completed when Brazil won the all-South American clash with Argentina 3-1.

Having already engaged in a two-hour match in pool A, Italy and the United States met again in the semi-final. Italy won the pool game 3-1 but now the two teams fought out a five-setter lasting 2hr 28m, the longest match of the entire tournament. The first two sets went to 30-28, 26-28 before the US won the third 25-9 and Italy leveled it in the fourth and in the tie-break set the Europeans won it 15-9. The other semi-final was a more one-sided affair with hosts Brazil beating the 2012 champions Russia 25-21, 25-20, 25-17, and at the same time avenging defeat by the Russians in the London final. Playing for Russia was Sergey Tetyukhin, a member of the 2012 gold-medal winning team who was playing in his sixth Olympics, going back to 1996. The United States had taken the young team that won the 2015 World Cup to Rio and eight of their squad had no previous Olympic experience but that did not show as they staged a remarkable comeback in the bronze medal match when they came from two sets down to beat Russia 15-13 in the tie-break set with an ace from Matt Anderson, the World Cup MVP and one of the stars of Rio.

The home fans eagerly anticipated the final between Brazil and Italy and they were hoping their team would end the drought of a men’s Olympic gold medal going back to 2004. Brazil and Italy met in pool A and despite winning the first set on that occasion, Brazil lost 3-1. Now in a country where volleyball is second only in popularity to football, the fervent fans were hoping for a reversal of fortune and with the legendary coach Bernardhino in charge of the team, they must have fancied their chances, particularly as he had guided his country to three World titles, two Olympic titles and nine World League titles. Despite the 3-0 scoreline in Brazil’s favour at the Maracanãzinho, they had to fight hard for their 25-22, 28-26, 26-24 win, and they had to stave off a set point held by the Italians in the second set. Escadinha, the tournament’s MVP won his fourth Olympic medal and was the only survivor from Brazil’s last gold-medal winning team in 2004.

3United StatesUSA5318–13715–676Bronze
4Russian FederationRUS5318–12666–604
=5Islamic Republic of IranIRI248–12454–473

Preliminary Round (7 – 15 August 2016)

Round-robin pools.

Group A (7 – 15 August 2016)

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


Match #107 Aug 9:30ITA 3 – 0FRA
Match #207 Aug 11:35BRA 3 – 1MEX
Match #307 Aug 17:05CAN 3 – 0USA
Match #409 Aug 11:35FRA 3 – 0MEX
Match #509 Aug 15:00ITA 3 – 1USA
Match #609 Aug 22:35BRA 3 – 1CAN
Match #711 Aug 17:05FRA 3 – 0CAN
Match #811 Aug 20:30ITA 3 – 0MEX
Match #911 Aug 22:35USA 3 – 1BRA
Match #1013 Aug 17:05USA 3 – 1FRA
Match #1113 Aug 20:30CAN 3 – 0MEX
Match #1213 Aug 22:35ITA 3 – 1BRA
Match #1315 Aug 11:35USA 3 – 0MEX
Match #1415 Aug 20:30CAN 3 – 1ITA
Match #1515 Aug 22:35BRA 3 – 1FRA

Group B (7 – 15 August 2016)

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


Match #107 Aug 15:00POL 3 – 0EGY
Match #207 Aug 20:30RUS 3 – 1CUB
Match #307 Aug 22:35ARG 3 – 0IRI
Match #409 Aug 9:30ARG 3 – 1RUS
Match #509 Aug 17:05POL 3 – 2IRI
Match #609 Aug 20:30EGY 3 – 0CUB
Match #711 Aug 9:30IRI 3 – 0CUB
Match #811 Aug 11:35RUS 3 – 0EGY
Match #911 Aug 15:00POL 3 – 0ARG
Match #1013 Aug 9:30IRI 3 – 0EGY
Match #1113 Aug 11:35ARG 3 – 0CUB
Match #1213 Aug 15:00RUS 3 – 2POL
Match #1315 Aug 9:30ARG 3 – 0EGY
Match #1415 Aug 15:00RUS 3 – 0IRI
Match #1515 Aug 17:05POL 3 – 0CUB

Quarter-Finals (17 August 2016)

Winner of each match advanced to semi-finals.

Match #117 Aug 18:00ITA 3 – 0IRI
Match #217 Aug 14:00USA 3 – 0POL
Match #317 Aug 10:00RUS 3 – 0CAN
Match #417 Aug 22:15BRA 3 – 1ARG

Semi-Finals (19 August 2016)

Winner of each match advanced to final round.

Match #119 Aug 13:00ITA 3 – 2USA
Match #219 Aug 22:15BRA 3 – 0RUS

Final Round (21 August 2016)

Medal round.

Match 1/221 Aug 13:15BRA 3 – 0ITA
Match 3/421 Aug 9:30USA 3 – 2RUS


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