Men’s Beach semifinal preview

Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego will play their semi-final at 5pm local time against Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins from Latvia. While the Brazilians are certainly favourites, their opponents are no walk over. However, if there’s is any player on the beach with the experience in big matches, it’s Emanuel. The 39-year-old legend is competing in his fifth Olympic Games, having previously won bronze and gold. More than that, he and his younger partner Alison are the reigning World Champions.

Though the Latvians have played a brilliant tournament so far, anything but a victory by the Brazilian Olympic FIVB Heroes would be the biggest upset this summer. The combination of the highest blocker on the tour, “mammoth” Alison, and the incarnation of beach volleyball, Emanuel, will be targeting gold.

At 11pm, Olympic FIVB Heroes Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann will do battle for a spot in the final against Olympic FIVB Hero Reinder Nummerdor and his partner Richard Schuil. The Germans and the Dutch are Europe’s absolute best. Both teams have been European Champions several times, this year it was Julius and Jonas who had the edge.

While Julius and Jonas started their professional career on the beach, Reinder and Richard were part of the Dutch indoor team before they changed to the sand. Reinder has been an Olympian indoor and outdoor. The fifth place from Beijing is already forgotten, now he is going for the medal. Plus, Reinder will get support from another FIVB Hero. Manon Flier, his girlfriend will keep her fingers crossed.

The Germans had a difficult start this season. Jonas injured his shoulder putting in doubt their London campaign. But they found their rhythm and are at their best again. The way they played so far is impressive. With only one set lost and a great performance in the quarterfinals, the 2009 World Champions seem to be back.

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