Tunisia to make Olympic debut against Beijing gold medalist

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 6, 2016 - Tunisia makes its Olympic Games debut against 2008 gold medallist, Phil Dalhausser and his reunited partner, Nick Lucena in a pool C match on day two.  Dalhausser and Lucena reunited after a 10-year span of playing with other partners to qualify for Rio as the #3 seed.

Head to Head
The two teams have never played on the FIVB World Tour.

Historically the #3 has won all four previous meetings against the #22 seed in the Olympic Games, all by straight sets.  The closest match was in London (2012) where Germany's eventual gold medal winners, Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann defeated Russia's Serguey Prokopyev/Konstantin Semenov, 21-19, 21-17 in 43 minutes.

Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena, United States, Seed #3, Pool C, Qualified 3rd with 6,280 Points in the 2015-16 Olympic qualification period
• Phil: January 26, 1980 (36y6m11d), 205 cm (6'9"), 90 kg (200 lbs.), Hometown Baden, Switzerland, 98th FIVB World Tour event (ranks 80th), 34 gold medals (ranks 3rd), $1,117,900 career winnings (ranks 3rd)
• Nick: September 22, 1979 (36y10m15d), 185 cm (6'1"), 80 kg (178 lbs.), Hometown Davie, 87th FIVB World Tour event, five gold medals, $472,000 career winnings (ranks 37th)
• Phil and Nick first played together in 2005 and reunited in 2015 for a run at the Olympics. They are playing in their 18th FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament together, five gold medals, $333,500 career winnings (ranks 53rd).
• Phil has played in 64 FIVB World Tour final fours with 34 gold, 14 silver, 12 bronze medals and four 4th place finishes.
• Nick has played in 21 FIVB World Tour final fours with five gold, nine silver, four bronze medals and three 4th place finishes.
• Phil and Nick have played in 11 Final Fours in 2015-2016 (Silver Long Beach Grand Slam 2015, Silver Sochi Open 2015, Gold Xiamen Open 2015, Silver World Tour Finals 2015, Gold Puerto Vallarta Open 2015-16, Silver Doha Open 2015-16, Gold Maceió Open 2016, Gold Fuzhou Open 2016, Bronze Cincinnati Open 2016, Gold Hamburg Major 2016, Silver Gstaad Major 2016).
• Phil won the gold medal in the Olympic Games in 2008 (Beijing) and finished 9th in 2012 (London), both with Todd Rogers .
• Phil finished 7th in the FIVB World Championships in 2005 (Berlin) won the gold medal in 2007 (Gstaad), won the bronze medal in 2009 (Stavanger), and finished 9th in 2011 (Rome), all with Todd Rogers, and finished 9th with Sean Rosenthal in 2013 (Stare Jablonki).
• Nick finished 17th in the FIVB World Championships with Brad Keenan in 2009 (Stavanger), 9th with Matt Fuerbringer in 2011 (Rome), 33rd with John Hyden in 2013 (Stare Jablonki), and 4th with Theo Brunner in 2015 (The Hague).
• Phil and Nick are currently ranked 2nd in FIVB World Tour points in 2016 with 5,070 points and 3rd in winnings with $188,000. 
• Phil and Nick have a career 88-21 (80.7%) match record in FIVB World Tour Events and a 84-17 (83.2%) record in the 2015-16 Olympic qualification period.
• Phil and Nick won the gold medal at the NORCECA Continental Championships in 2015 (Turtle Beach, Trinidad and Tobago).
• Nick won a gold medal at the Norceca Continental Tour with Theo Brunner in 2013 (San Diego, United States).
• Phil was named the FIVB World Tour Most Improved Player in 2006, Best Blocker in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014, Best Hitter in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, Best Offensive Player in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, Best Server in 2014, Best Setter in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012,  2014, and 2015, Most Outstanding in 2010, 2013, 2014, Sportsperson in 2008, and was named Team of the Year and Tour Points Champion with Todd Rogers in 2010.
• Phil (205 cm) and Nick (185 cm) have the biggest difference in height at 20 cm (8").  They are tied with Emiel Boersma (205 cm)/Bram Ronnes (185 cm) of the Netherlands in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. 

Choaib Belhaj/Mohamed Naceur, Tunisia, Seed #22, Pool C, Qualified through African Confederation (CAVB) Continental Cup
• Choaib: June 4, 1987 (29y2m2d), 194 cm (6'4"), 86 kg (191 lbs.), Hometown Menzel Tmime, 2nd FIVB World Tour event, $1,700 career winnings
• Mohamed: November 4, 1988 (27y9m2d), 190 cm (6'3"), 81 kg (180 lbs.), Hometown Hamem Ghzez, 2nd FIVB World Tour event, $1,700 career winnings
• Choaib and Mohamed have been playing together since 2015. They are playing in their 2nd FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament together, $3,400 career winnings.
• Choaib and Mohamed finished 37th in the FIVB World Championships in 2015 (The Hague).
• Choaib and Mohamed are the first team from Tunisia to compete in the Olympic Games for beach volleyball.
• Choaib and Mohamed with one previous FIVB World Tour event each are tied with Cuba's Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio Gonzalez as the least experienced men's players at the Rio Olympics.
• Choaib and Mohamed have a career 0-3 (0.0%) match record in FIVB World Tour Events, all in the 2015-16 Olympic qualification period.
• Chaoib and Mohamed finished 5th in the 11th All African Games in 2015 (Congo).
• On home sand in Kelibia, the Tunisians posted CAVB Continental Cup pool play wins at the start of May over pairs from Egypt, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Gambia.  In the African "final four" Continental Cup matches, the Tunisians defeated Angola in the semi-finals before advancing to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with a 2-1 win over Morocco.
• Chaoib and Mohamed made history last June as they were first players from their country to compete in the FIVB World Championships.  The last time Tunisia had players competing in a FIVB World Tour event was 1998.  Salah and Naceur qualified for the FIVB World Championships by winning their pool in the African qualifier and advanced to the top of the podium by defeating pairs from Ghana and South Africa for the gold medal.


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