Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 13, 2016 - As the last entry into the men’s Beach Volleyball competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Dmitri Barsouk and Nikita Liamin were “under the radar” as the second Russian team in the quadrennial and not listed as a medal contending pair.
That changed drastically here Saturday afternoon as Barsouk and Liamin stunned and silenced the crowd at the 12,000-seat “Coliseu on Copacabana” by upsetting local residents and medal favorites Evandro Goncalves and Pedro Solberg 2-1 (16-21, 21-14, 15-10) in 52 minutes to eliminate the Brazilians from the competition.
By defeating Evandro and Pedro in the first-ever international match between the two teams, Barsouk and Liamin join Russia’s No. 1 team of Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Konstantin Semenov in the men’s quarter-finals Monday. Russia will also have Ekaterina Birlova and Evgeniya Ukolova playing in the women’s quarter-finals Sunday against reigning FIVB world champions Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas of Brazil.
Krasilnikov and Semenov claimed their “Elite 8” spot Friday as the Russian pair will be challenged by Cuba’s Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio Gonzalez. Both teams are 4-0 in the competition and won their pools in the preliminary phase of the competition.
Barsouk and Liamin, who qualified for Rio at the FIVB Continental Cup Finals at the start of July in Sochi, Russia, will play Italy’s Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai in the quarter-finals with the winner meeting Krasilnikov/Semenov or Diaz/Gonzalez in the semi-finals. Barsouk and Liamin are 1-0 against Lupo and Nicolai with the win earlier this season in Fuzhou, China.
With the Brazilians dominating in the first set, Barsouk and Liamin were very convincing in the last two sets. With the second set tied at 6s, the Russians went on a 15-7 run to force a third-and-deciding set. After Evandro and Pedro scored the first points, Barsouk and Liamin took charge of the third set by scoring 10 of the next 14 points to coast home to victory.