The United States may well feel or even claim that they were the fifth best team in the men’s competition for in all four quarter final matches the country drawn in Pool B beat their opposition from Pool A so who could blame them. Nevertheless, there are just three medals to be won and who was it to be?
Brazil, who had headed the pool had a relatively comfortable ride against the host nation who had shaded Iran by the narrowest of margins and in the match that preceded that contest Russia beat Canada in three very close sets, the second 30:28. The other two quarterfinals each went to five sets. After a disastrous fourth set, Argentina got the better of Italy and the day closed with France showing that their 18:20 fifth set pool defeat by Brazil still showed their quality against Poland.
In the semis a couple of days later Russia beat Brazil after losing the first set and winning the next three by a narrow margin and France need just three, only one of them comfortable, to beat Argentina. The results meant a contest for bronze between Argentina and Brazil which the former won in five tremendous set: a reverse of the result of their pool match. France had beaten Russia in four sets in the pool. In the final they needed five. They had won the first two but lost the next two before a thrilling 15:12 fifth. With the next Games in Paris in three years’ time, what joy!
The United States women made up for any disappointment their men might have felt. They and Brazil had each won all their pool matches so the final turned out to be a fitting conclusion to the exciting competition. It lasted just three sets, however: having narrowly won the first two, the States grew in confidence and took the next one 25:14. The contest for bronze was won by Serbia who dismissed Korea relatively easily.
Both semi finals lasted just three sets with USA beating Serbia and Brazil beating Korea.
Korea had needed five sets to dispose of Turkey in their quarter final while Brazil had needed four to put out Russia. The States and Serbia enjoyed relatively easy three set wins against the Dominican Republic and Italy respectively.
ROC beat Canada, 25:21 30:28 25:22
Brazil beat Japan, 25:20 25:22 25:20
Argentina beat Italy, 21:25 25:23 25:22 14:25 15:12
France beat Poland, 21:25 25:22 21:25 25:21 15:9
ROC beat Brazil, 18:25 25:21 26:24 25:23
France beat Argentina, 25:22 25:19 25:22
Argentina beat Brazil, 25:23 20:25 20:25 25:17 15:13
France beat ROC, 25:23 25:17 21:25 21:25 15:12
Korea beat Turkey, 17:25 25:17 28:26 18:25 15:13
USA beat Dominican Republic, 25:11 25:20 25:19
Serbia beat Italy, 25:21 25:14 25:21
Brazil beat ROC, 23:25 25:21 25:19 25:22
USA beat Serbia, 25:19 25:15 25:23
Brazil beat Korea, 25:16 25:16 25:16
Serbia beat Korea, 25:18 25:15 25:15
USA beat Brazil, 25:21 25:20 25:14