Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 20, 2016 – The decisive day has arrived at the women’s volleyball tournament of Rio 2016 Olympic Games with China and Serbia set to battle for the top honours of the event and the United States and Netherlands with their eyes focused on the third position of the podium.
China stunned Brazil in five sets and two days ago subdued the Netherlands 3-1 to avenge a five-set defeat suffered in the preliminary stage, while Serbia out dueled the USA in a dramatic 3-2 effort after sweeping out Russia in straight sets. In their previous meeting in Rio, Serbia outclassed China in straight sets
The Asians are seeking their third Olympic gold medal after winning in Los Angeles 1984 and Athens 2004. China also claimed the silver in Atlanta 1996 and the bronze in Seoul 1988 and at home in Beijing 2008.
Serbia are stepping into unknown ground as they had never made the medal round before but along the way they have passed all the tests to be considered bona-fide title contenders.
China’s Zhu Ting leads all the scorers of the tournament with 154 points and also owns the first place in efficiency of attacks. Serbia’s Milena Rasic sits atop the categories of aces and blocks.
For the first time in the last three editions of the Olympic Games the USA women are not contending for the gold medal, one that eluded the American team in Beijing, London and Los Angeles when they had to settle for the silver. The Americans also won the bronze in Barcelona.
On the other hand, after a fifth-place best finish in Atlanta 1996, the Netherlands are looking for their first podium position in Olympic history.
The two teams engaged in a grueling battle during pool play with the USA team emerging victorious in five sets.
Lonneke Sloetjes leads the attack of the Dutch team as the second best scorer of the tournament with 142 points in seven matches. Jordan Larson-Burbach and Foluke Akinradewo share the sixth position in the scoring list with 88 as the main attackers for USA.
Quick links - Men's Semifinals - Friday, August 19:
Quick links - Women's Finals - Saturday, August 20: