Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti’s experience at the 2012 Olympic Games has a silver lining…
The 39-year-old and 25-year-old Brazilian beach volleyball players had to settle for silver after losing a close match to Germany’s Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann in the men’s beach volleyball final on Thursday at the London Games.
In a match that could’ve gone either way, Rego and Cerutti—the reigning world champions and pre-tournament favorites to win gold—lost the oh-so-close first set 21-23. But they stormed back to win the second set 21-16 and send the match into the deciding third set.
The deciding set was full of suspense with the teams staying level until the consistent Germans forced the Brazilian duo into an uncharacteristic string of errors. Brink and Reckermann went up 14-11, giving them three match points, but the Brazilians saved them all.
Then the Germans went ahead again to 15-14, and the game ended on a sour note when the referee called a Brazilian spike out on the fourth match point. The Brazilian team contested the call to no avail.
“I’m very happy with this final because it was a great battle. Both teams gave everything to win the gold medal and right now I’m very satisfied because both teams deserved the gold medal,” said Riego, adding that he’d seen a replay of the match point and now accepted that the ball was out.
“(I’m going to) enjoy the silver medal because it’s not easy to be in the top in beach volleyball. You saw a lot of good teams passing by in these Games and only three have medals. I’m very satisfied that I have one of them,” added Riego, a five-time Olympian who had won gold in 2004 and bronze in 2008 with his previous teammate Ricardo Santos.
It’s Brazil’s second beach volleyball medal at the London Games, after Larissa França and Juliana Silva beat China’s Xue Chen and Zhang Xi on Wednesday to win the bronze on the women’s side of the tournament.