Top-seeded Brazilians Alison and Bruno Schmidt will look to take gold on home sand. To achieve their goal, they’ll battle fifth-seeded Italians Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai in the men’s beach volleyball gold medal match.
Alison and Bruno Schmidt lead the series 5-3. The Brazilians have won four of the most recent meetings. Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai took their last win at the 2015 Stavanger Major Series.
Alison made his Olympic debut at the 2012 London Games where he won silver alongside Emanuel Rego. The duo lost to Germany’s Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann in the gold medal match.
Bruno Schmidt is making his first Olympic appearance in Rio.
Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai made their Olympic debuts at the London Games. The duo barely qualified for the 2012 Olympics and narrowly made it out of pool play but won their lucky loser match to advance to the Round of 16. The pair lost in the quarterfinals to Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil of the Netherlands.
Lupo/Nicolai are the first Italian beach volleyball team to advance past the quarterfinals.
Alison and Bruno Schmidt began playing together in their teens while living in Vitoria, Brazil. The pair split up when Alison was recruited to play in Rio de Janeiro. Both men continued to play but found themselves looking for new partners in 2013 and decided to reunite. The pair have 13 FIVB World Tour podium finishes in their career together.
Nicolai/Lupo began playing together in 2010 after 1996 U.S. Olympic silver medalist Mike Dodd, who was working for the Italian volleyball federation at the time, suggested that the two play together. Nicolai/Lupo boast 12 FIVB World Tour podium finishes in their career together.
Alison and Bruno Schmidt entered the Olympic tournament as the top seed and were expected to sweep Pool A. However the pair lost their second preliminary match to Austria’s Doppler/Horst and were ranked second in their pool. The Brazilian men dropped two sets in the elimination round; one to USA’s Lucena/Dalhausser in the quarterfinals and again to the Netherland’s Brouwer/Meeuwsen in the semifinals.
Nicolai and Lupo narrowly made it out of Pool C after losing two out of three matches. The pair earned enough match points to qualify for a last chance lucky loser match where they bested Poland’s Losiak/Kantor to advance to the quarterfinals. The pair has dropped two sets in the elimination round.