Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 6, 2016 - It was another day at the “beach” for Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen as the 2013 FIVB world champions were on “cruise control” here Saturday evening in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as the “towering” pair from The Netherlands defeated Dmitri Barsouk and Nikita Liamin of Russia in an opening men’s Pool B match.
As the second-ranked qualifying team for the Rio Olympics from the FIVB World Tour, Brouwer and Meeuwsen posted a 2-0 (21-15, 21-14) win in 39 minutes over Barsouk and Liamin, who were the last team to earn a berth in the quadrennial as Russia secured the spot at the FIVB Continental Cup Finals last month in Sochi.
After the Russians jumped to an 8-5 lead in the first set, Brouwer and Meeuwsen rallied to take a 15-10 lead and never trailed again in the match. It was the second meeting between the two teams as the Dutch defeated Barsouk and Liamin in three sets early this season at the Vitoria Open in Brazil.
Both pairs return to Pool B action Monday with Brouwer and Meeuwsen meeting Markus Bockermann and Lars Fluggen of Germany while Barsouk and Liamin challenge Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak of Poland, who won the Rio Grand Slam in mid-March on Copacabana.