From the very beginning, both teams displayed incredible skill to up the pressure on their opponents, but no team managed to build a lead. After saving two set points, it was Jonas who converted Germany’s first one to end the set at 23-21. Emanuel and Alison now had to prevail in the second set, so they started strong and succeeded in breaking the Germans’ rhythm. A strategy that was rewarded with a 21-16 set for the Brazilians.
So once again, the tie-break had to decide. The teams kept the score close and got the crowd off their seats with several terrific rallies. Finally, another monster block by Jonas and two Brazilian errors gave Germany the lead which they defended up to a score of 14-11 – Olympic match point. But for beach legend Emanuel the match was not over yet. In an impressive demonstration of why he is such a legend of the sport, he served two aces to tie the match at 14-14. Jonas, however, responded with a crushing spike for their fourth match point, while Emanuel’s following attack landed close to the line and was ruled out by the official, sealing the Germans’ victory at 16-14. The Brazilians’ arguing didn’t help as Julius and Jonas threw their hands up in the air, celebrating their deserved gold medal after this nail-biter of a final. There can only be one winner, but the Brazilian superstars were in no way disgraced, playing a fantastic final that could have gone either way.
„It is unbelievable, there was so much pressure,” Jonas expressed his feelings. „It is the biggest gold and biggest achievement in the sport. It’s amazing, fantastic.“ As a true sportsman, Emanuel summarised: „This has been the most beautiful and successful Olympic Games for beach volleyball. We wanted to win, but sometimes you have to step back and say it was a great game.“
Bronze went to Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins from Latvia, who defeated Dutch FIVB Hero Reinder Nummerdor and his partner Richard Schuil 2-1 (19-21, 21-19, 15-11).