Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 11, 2016 - London 2012 Olympic Games gold medallist Julius Brink told former Olympic triple-jump champion Jonathan Edwards his favourties for gold in Rio de Janeiro were Brazilians Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt.
Edwards and former swimmer and triple Olympic champion Pieter van den Hoogenband joined Brink and double Olympic indoor volleyball gold medallist Mauricio Lima of Brazil to test their skills at the #CopaCourts on Copacabana Beach.
Playing just a few hundred metres from the Olympic beach volleyball stadium, Edwards and Brink discussed the German's memories of winning in London in 2012 with partner Jonas Reckermann, his favourites to win the title in Rio and Europe's place in beach volleyball.
Brink said: "It's good to be here because we see all the pictures again and in a couple of days it will be the fourth anniversary of our victory in London. It's hard to describe in words what that feeling is about when I think about Horse Guards Parade. Everybody is saying about Copacabana that it's the best venue we've ever seen, but for me Horse Guards Parade was the best ever. And I love that our sport has the opportunity to have these stadiums built in the greatest places on earth."
Speaking about the final in 2012, Brink said: "I have to disappoint you because it was the easiest match I ever played. I had this Olympic dream of a medal and for me the most difficult match was the semifinal playing the Dutch [Reinder Nummerdor/Richard Schuil] - our best friends on the Tour, our training partners - and to defeat them in a match where it all counts was hard."
Speaking about his favourites in the beach volleyball tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brink said: "It's unbelievable. Even as an expert of the sport, I could not say. There might be ten teams. Probably the biggest chances are going to Alison and Bruno, and me personally taking the title from Alison [and Emanuel Rego in 2012], I think if he could choose to win a gold medal, he would definitely choose to win it here in his home city, in front of his family, and he's such a great ambassador for the sport and so young. I just wish that someone could win the gold medal and come back on tour and play the sport for a couple of years because it helps to promote the sport so much."
"We were the first Europeans winning the World Championships in 2009, then the Olympic title in 2012. It feels good and it actually shows the power of Europe in the sport and that there are more countries participating in beach volleyball than just Brazil and North America."
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