Highlights from the epic Beach Volleyball Area at Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games
The chances are you're thinking of the music played by DJ Roueche who specialises in Volleyball DJ work. He has released a special 36 minute "Thank You Rio" megamix featuring the most popular tunes from the arena. Well worth a listen.
Thank you Rio
Forgetten the route that Laura & Kira took on their way to coming Olympic Champions? Fear not, The FIVB are able to help.
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Here's the proof. The official FIVB/Rio2016 document which shows Ludwig-Walkenhorst at the winner of Match 54. Or in other words, the one that made that Olympic Gold Medalists!
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Super Smash ("Here comes the boom!")
Fairwell Copacabana beach. Unfortunately the stadium was only ever a temporary construction.
Rio 2016 OBS Olympic Broadcast Intro
Have a look in the 'Videos' section of this website where I provide links to websites which contain videos from Rio 2016.
The first set started evenly, with the teams trading points in exciting rallies. But the Brazilian pair began to make errors and a Walkenhorst spike followed by a Ludwig shot allowed the Germans to close the set 21-18. The second set was much more one-sided, with Walkenhorst and Ludwig blocking well and avoiding errors as the Brazilians began to lose heart. When Seixas served into the net, the Germans sealed a deserved 21-14 victory.
On beating a Brazilian team in Rio and winning their country's first female Olympic medal in the sport, Ludwig said: “It was definitely tough. The Brazilians were really loud, I had goosebumps, it was really special. But we were focusing on us. We worked on how to be self-confident even with this crowd.”
The German duo dealt much better with the wind that picked up just before the final, serving three aces while the Brazilians faulted five times. Ludwig set out to use the conditions to their advantage: “There was a storm coming and I thought, let's take this storm and make our own storm. We just took care of our own passing and setting, and in this case we did it better. The key point was the effective serving.”
“There was so much fighting put into this one medal. We wanted gold, but also silver is a real achievement. It took a lot of work and there is no feeling of sadness. We are very happy,” Brazil’s Bednarczuk said, admitting that it would have been incredible to win the country's first female beach volleyball gold since 1996, in front of the home crowd.
Bednarczuk added that the German team played better and adapted well to the conditions of Copacabana beach: “The Germans definitely deserved the gold medal. It was an excellent game and we've seen in the world that there is a lot of quality and the level of this game has improved all over the world.”
“It is just incredible. I’m speechless and I can say we definitely deserved to win. I think I can say that after this tournament. We played game to game and we had a strong team behind us who kept us strong and how to be self-confident with this crowd because the Brazilian crowd were very loud. We served very well and there was a storm coming and we thought we’d take it and make our own storm.
There was a good end and a bad end. When we were on the good end we served well and took our chances. We took care of our own passing and setting and in this case we did it better."
“I was sitting and watching when Jonas (Reckermann) and Julius (Brink) won their own gold medal (at London 2012) in the stadium and I thought ‘if they can do it, I want to do it’. So from then on we fought for four years and had good years."
“In such an important tournament we were mentally focused and that is because we had a really strong team with us. We spoke to Jonas as he was always calm in tough situations. He spoke about individual routines and said that over the four years to work on being mentally strong and to treat every single session like it is a final.”
“It was really hard, but right now everything is fine. We are so happy we were working four years really hard every day and it was not easy, it was a hard way, and we had dreams in those four years. We always fight together and now I'm so proud that we made it. It's an amazing feeling now.”
“I’m afraid it was too good, but a lot of things went very well. Serving went way better than the other games and I think our crew prepared us really well with our strategy."
“I think we’ve almost always lost to them before, so we definitely wanted to change a little bit and there was a big focus on that from the beginning to the end. I’m just pleased we can play two more matches on this court."
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 14, 2016 – Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst advanced to the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games beach volleyball semifinals when they defeated Canada’s Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan 2-0 (21-14, 21-14) at the Copacabana Beach Arena on Sunday.
To a seasoned BVB fan seeing the women compete it their bikini strip is normal in the warmer weather, and expect additional clothing when it's cooler. However, when the choice of clothing is down to religion and not temperature the media take notice. Kira seemed to attract the lions share of thstory as she competed head to head in her blocker role against Egyptian player Elghbashy.
Rio de Janeiro: When Nada Meawad and Doaa Elghobashy made their Olympic debut in beach volleyball at the Copacabana on Sunday night, they caught the attention of the world. The Egyptians were fully clothed, wearing long sleeves and pants that covered their arms and legs. Elghobashy also wore a hijab that covered her head.
This was in stark contrast to their German rivals Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, who sported the usual bikini attire. A photo of Elghobashy and Walkenhorst at the net went viral on social media, and has become a strong statement for the women athletes from the predominantly Muslim country.
The juxtaposition of the completely different cultures in the photograph are a great example of how sports is a great leveller and the Olympics is the biggest stage for that. The Egyptian players are not only just creating history for their nation, but are also challenging existing norms and inspiring millions of other women across the globe. No matter what religion or background you belong to, you can still succeed at the highest level in sports, is the message that they are sending out.
Doaa Elghobashy said she was proud to represent Egypt as part of the nation's first Olympic beach volleyball team.
As for the hijab that covered her head, as well as the long sleeves and pants, she never gave that a thought.
"I have worn the hijab for 10 years," she said after a 21-12, 21-15 loss to Germany. "It doesn't keep me away from the things I love to do, and beach volleyball is one of them."
Elghobashy and partner Nada Meawad qualified for the Summer Games through a regional competition designed to open the Olympic field to countries beyond the Brazilians, Americans and Europeans who dominate the international pro tour.
And when the Egyptians took the court wearing long pants and sleeves, they were the beneficiaries of uniform regulations that were relaxed by the international volleyball federation before the London Games so as not to exclude cultures that might be turned off by the standard bikinis and boardshorts.
"It was to open it up culturally," FIVB spokesman Richard Baker said on Sunday night as the Egyptians played in their opening match of the Rio Games. "The goal was to allow more people to play the sport of volleyball."
By one measure, it's worked. Baker said there were 169 different countries involved in the Continental Cup qualifying process for the 2016 Olympic, compared to 143 for London.
Egypt had never qualified for either the men's or women's beach volleyball tournament at the Olympics.
"I'm proud to be seen raising the Egyptian flag in a carnival with so many nations," Elghobashy said.
“I definitely was the nervous I’ve been before a match because it was the semi in front of the crowd and that is the third player. We talked about it before and wanted to keep focus on us."
“Winning the first set was really important to have patience and have lots of patience. We knew we could get at them with our service block defence. We made some mistakes, which is fine but the important thing was to stick together as a team and that was the most important thing."
“The four best seeded teams are in the semis here, so we knew that both matches wold be really hard and tough, but we love tough matches and love going out there and going on that court and can’t wait to play again."
“A lot of things worked again. We knew we could beat them. It was really important that we’d beaten them before so we believed in it and it definitely made us stronger."
“I need some time to realise what we’ve done here, especially over the last four years. There’s been tough times and now we’re in the final of the Olympics. I can’t believe it.”
Ludwig and Walkenhorst now lead the series 4-1 as the Germans defeated Talita and Larissa twice in 2015 at events in the United States and Japan, and nearly two months ago in a three-set the gold medal match at the Olsztyn Grand Slam in Poland. The Brazilians’ only victory was last October at the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals in the United States when Talita and Larissa cashed a US$100,000 paycheck for winning the Fort Lauderdale gold medal.
The key statistics in the match was the blocking of Walkenhorst and the defense of Ludwig. While the Brazilians had no blocks and seven total digs, Walkenhorst had five blocks and Ludwig was successful with 13 digs. Both Germans had two service winners each with Talita and Larissa one each. With the Germans successful on 67 percent of their attacks (26 of 39), the Brazilians were only 37.2 percent (16 of 43).
In the first set, there were 11 ties and two lead changes with the Germans scoring eight points when serving to the Brazilians’ five. Talita and Larissa’s biggest lead was 14-11 after securing the lead at 7-6. Ludwig and Walkenhorst tied it at 14-14 and went ahead for good at 17-16 as the Germans ended the set on a 10-4 run with half the points coming when serving.
The second set was all Germany as Ludwig and Walkenhorst scored first and broke from ties at 1s and 2s to score five-straight points with four coming on their serve. Talita and Larissa pulled to within three at 9-6, but the Germans continued to stretch their advantage to 11-6, 13-7, 15-8 and 20-11 before closing it out with a successful attack by Walkenhorst.
The Germans are now the first European women’s team to medal in the Olympic competition. Ludwig and Walkenhorst’s Olympic gold medal opponent will be determined after midnight when third-seeded April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States challenge second-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas of Brazil. The women’s medal matches will be played late Wednesday with the title tilt at midnight.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 7, 2016 - FIVB World Tour leads Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst continued their winning ways here Sunday evening as the Germans began their quest for a medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by posting a Pool D win over Doaa Elghobashy and Nada Meawad of Egypt.
With the Egyptians playing in their first international event together outside of the African continent where the pair won the confederation’s Continental Cup competition in April, Ludwig and Walkenhorst posted a 2-0 (21-12, 21-15) win in 37 minutes.
Ludwig and Walkenhorst, who have won five gold medals during the 2015-2016 FIVB World Tour campaign with a 58-8 match mark entering the Copacabana quadrennial, never trailed in the match as the German’s experience overshadowed the competitive spirit of Elghobashy and Meawad.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 9, 2016 - FIVB World Tour leaders Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst continue to play on Copacabana in “cruise control” as the German pair posted their second Pool D win here Tuesday evening in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Winners of five international gold medals this season, Ludwig and Walkenhorst scored a 2-0 (21-17, 21-11) Pool D victory in 34 minutes over Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas of Canada. It was the Germans sixth win in seven international meetings with Broder and Valjas, who are now 1-1 in the competition.
In posting their 60th match win this season in 68 matches, Ludwig and Walkenhorst never trailed in either set as the Germans raced to an 8-2 lead in the first set and 8-3 in the second. Walkenhorst had six blocks to increase her two-match total to 10 to rank third in the statistics behind Anouk Verge-Depre and Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States with 11.
With a spot in the 16-team elimination bracket guaranteed, Ludwig and Walkenhorst will be seeking to secure the fourth-seeded spot in the bracket when the German play Laura Giombini/Marta Menegatti of Italy Thursday. Broder and Valjas end pool play with a match Thursday against Doaa Elghobashy and Nada Meawad of Egypt, who lost to the Italians 2-0 (21-10, 21-13) in 35 minutes Tuesday.
“We always have close matches against them and I am really happy that we played pretty well against them and only lost our focus at a few points in the first set, but all in all it was a good match from the beginning to the end."
“We go from game to game and enjoy this match and be happy with how it was, but from tomorrow we have to focus on the next match against Italy (Marta Menegatti and Laura Giombini). They are good players but we don’t know what they are together.”
Rio de Janeiro, August 11, 2016 – Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst beat Italy’s Marta Menegatti and Laura Giombini 2-1 (21-18, 18-21, 15-8) to top their pool at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, at Copacabana Beach Arena on Thursday.
“Now the tournament starts. We are happy we have found our rhythm. The third match wasn’t really what we thought we wanted to do. We made a lot of mistakes, especially in our service game and normally it is our strength. "
“We are really satisfied that we worked really hard in the rallies and fought for every point."
“We struggled in a lot of elements in the game. Normally passing, serving, setting especially. I think we can do this better, but I think it was a good game to make us get our focus back. Sometimes if it is too easy in the pool in the first single elimination, it can be over suddenly.”
“We go from game to game and the next game will definitely be tough against the Canadians (Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley). We have played them a lot and the matches are always hard and I think we have lost more than we won. We just have to go out and enjoy the whole arena.”
“It was a tough first set. It was really close. We were a few points in front, but then we gave it up again. The second set we served pretty good and everything was working."
“We are getting more and more into our rhythm, but I think we can score more points and play better for the next match, but I think it is a good thing.”
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 13, 2016 – Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst booked their place in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games quarterfinals with a 2-0 (21-19, 21-10) win over Switzerland’s Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Verge-Depre at the Copacabana Beach Arena on Saturday.