Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 7, 2016 - The men’s volleyball tournament at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will start with an all-European battle between neighbours. Italy and France will open the competition in Pool A, which also features the teams of Brazil, Canada, Mexico and USA.
Italy have been a consistent participant in the Olympic Games since Montreal 1976, but never managed to get all the way to the top. In their ten participations they have two silver medals, from Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004, and three bronze medals, from Los Angeles 1984, Sydney 2000 and London 2012.
France have played at the Olympic Games only three times and never won a medal. Their best finish was the eighth place from their Olympic debut at Seoul 1988. The last edition of the Games that they attended was Athens 2004.
Italy qualified for Rio 2016 as the runner-up at the FIVB Volleyball World Cup 2015, while France booked one of the last available tickets at the FIVB Volleyball World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Japan, where they finished second.
The latest official encounter between Italy and France was the bronze medal match of the FIVB Volleyball World League 2016. On July 17 in Krakow, the French shut out their opponents by 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-20).