Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 22, 2016 - Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt, who defeated Italians Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai to claim gold in the men's beach volleyball tournament final on Thursday, commissioned a replica of their gold medal to offer to their coach Leandro Andreão.
Speaking in front of members of the press on Friday, Alison praised the work and commitment of the 15 members of the technical team he and Bruno worked with to achieve a remarkable result in Rio and thanked the Brazilian Volleyball Confederation (CBV) and the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) for their support across the full Olympic cycle.
"Our team does not just enter the court and play; we work with 15 people who are all part of the project and work hard. If you could split the medal into several pieces, it would be split with all of them for sure. The support is essential for us athletes. It gives us the confidence to do the best job. If we are here today, it is thanks to the Brazilian Sport Ministry's Athlete Grant programme, thanks to support from the CBV and COB. This is the way, this is the future for high-result teams."Alison and Bruno received the support of the home crowd as 12,000 spectators filled the arena on Copacabana Beach on Thursday
"The replica was an idea Emanuel [Rego] and I also had at the London 2012 Olympic Games, when we had one made for our coach at the time. Many people are important in our success here, but Leandro Andreão deserves a special mention. He believed in us as a team. We are here for him," added Alison.
Leandro Andreão, an experienced coach who worked with the likes of José Loiola and Fábio Luiz Magalhaes
in the 1990s, said: "With a strong team, thinking about the Olympic goal was very important. And the support from the CBV and COB was key. We had the chance to work at the right intensity, without injury problems, monitoring progress with our physiologists. We knew if workouts between games could be more intense or not."
Bruno said: "The coach helped me to overcome physical barriers. Something great to see is that the need to be a very tall athlete seems to be disappearing. I am glad to see a new generation of skilled athletes, who are not giants. And they play on equal terms with everyone."Bruno's skills in defence were a highlight throughout the tournament
Alison and Bruno were among the pre-tournament favourites in Rio and certainly lived up to expectations. In the second round they defeated Spain's Pablo Herrera and Adrían Gavira before eliminitaing Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena of the United States in the quarterfinals and Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands in the semifinals. Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas completed a successful competition for Brazil by claiming silver in the women's competition. Gold medal match - MenGold medal match - Women
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