Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 27, 2016 – The ‘Lion King’ Aleksandrs Samoilovs is one of the most recognizable characters in beach volleyball, but with nine days to go until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, his attention is likely to be on a first medal.
The 31-year-old forms one half of an incredibly experienced and consistent teams and whilst partner Janis Smedins captured bronze with Martin Plavins in London 2012, Samoilovs took ninth alongside Ruslan Sorokins.
However, the man from Jurmala has been on an upward curve since, wrapping up the FIVB World Tour Champion titles in 2013 and 2014 with Smedins while adding four FIVB World Tour medals during the Rio 2016 qualifying process.
That included a silver at the inaugural Gstaad Major in 2015 before adding the 2015 European Championships crown in Klagenfurt, Austria.
He also has history with Copacabana, the iconic Brazilian beach providing the backdrop to his and Plavins’ 2005 FIVB U21 World Championships success. Could history repeat itself?