Olympic FIVB Heroes Alison and Emanuel played the first semifinal against the tournament’s surprise pair Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins from Latvia.
Emanuel and Alison immediately demonstrated their superiority in the first set. Alison’s block was like a wall to their opponents, and Emanuel’s defence did the rest. As a result the favourites took the first set easily 21-15.
In the second set, things seemed to go the same way. The Latvians were already three points down at 10-13, when they finally showed why they were worthy semi-finalists and traded points with the Brazilians until their second match point which featured an Alison trademark – a crushing block – giving the Brazilians the 2-0 win (21-15, 22-20).
Afterwards, Emanuel praised his partner: “I’m playing with a player 12 years younger than me, who has a young and powerful game and he is my motivation to stay in the Olympics.“
Later thin the evening, on the floodlit court of Horse Guards Parade, the second semi-final took place. Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann faced a fellow Olympic FIVB Hero as they played Reinder Nummerdor.
The very first point of the match, a huge block by Jonas, was already an indicator how things would go. The Germans took firm control right from the start, causing trouble on the Dutch side with their float serves. Altogether, the Germans scored four aces in addition to Jonas’ six blocks. Reinder and his partner Richard Schuil never found their rhythm. Only at times could they put pressure on their opponents. After 39 minutes and another spectacular dig by Julius and his following roll shot, the Germans sank into the sand of London in the knowledge they had at least a silver medal.
After the 2-0 (21-14, 21-16) win, Julius explained: “It was a sensational win. We definitely have a medal, either gold or silver, one of those colours. I’m so proud of our performance.”
To keep in touch with all that happens in the final, stay tuned to FIVBheroes.com!