Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 10, 2016 - The teams occupying the top and the bottom of the current Pool A standings, Italy and Mexico, respectively, will meet on the third competition day of the men’s volleyball tournament at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The Italians are having a great tournament, with wins against two of the medal favourites so far. After shutting out France on Sunday, they followed up with a 3-1 (28-26, 20-25, 25-23, 25-23) victory over USA on Tuesday, with a 20-point contribution from Osmany Juantorena.
Unfortunately, Emanuele Birarelli, a key player for Italy, sustained an ankle injury during the game and whether or not he can recover for the match with Mexico is yet to become known. “I really have to give credit to the players who came from the bench and did a good job,” coach Gianlorenzo Blengini commented.
After winning one set against hosts Brazil, Olympic rookies Mexico lost in straight sets to France – 0-3 (18-25, 12-25, 22-25). Jorge Barajas was the only Mexican player who reached double figures in scoring – 11 points.
“I tell my players to be aggressive and not to be intimidated by any opponent,” said coach Jorge Azair. “We have to go out and play to win.”