Maxim Mikhaylov stretches out to hit above the Cuban triple block of Osniel Malgarejo, Javier Concepcion and Yosvani Nicolas.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 7, 2016 - Russia began the defense of their men's Olympic title with a win 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18) over Cuba's youngesters at the Maracanazinho, as captain Sergey Tetyukhin became a record six-time Olympian -though the victory was not as straighforward as the London 2012 gold medallists may have hoped for.
Tetyukhin, 40, who first competed in the Olympics at Atlanta 1996, matches the record of six appearances held by fellow Russian Yevgeniya Artamonova.
After two convincing sets, coach Vladimir Alekno pulled out Tetyukhin and Aleksandr Volkov in the third, allowing Cuba to come back and close in on 2-1. However, bringing the pair back on for the fourth restored order on the court and Russia clinched the win that keeps them on track.
With towering Maxim Mikhaylov leading the scoring for Russia on 16 points, the defending champions dominated the blocking on 10 stuffs to 6 and the attacking on 42% (46/83) to just 29% (51/104). Cuba simply couldn't get the ball on the floor, in addition to giving away as many as 35 unforced errors (to Russia's 16).
Cuba's 19-year-old Osniel Rendon was top scorer of the game with 20 points.