Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 9, 2016 - Russia and Argentina will open the second competition day of the men’s volleyball tournament at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. They will face each other in a Pool B fixture at the Maracanazinho, each already with three points in their sack and each going for their second victory in the race.
Defending champions Russia started off with a 3-1 (25-17, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18) victory over Cuba on Sunday with opposite Maxim Mikhaylov contributing 16 points. The spotlight was on Sergey Tetyukhin, who is playing at his sixth Olympic Games. “A lot of the players were nervous. Whether you are 20 or 40, it is very normal to still get nervous in this type of situation,” Tetyukhin commented on Russia’s first match at Rio 2016.
Argentina were more straightforward with their opponents on Sunday, mastering a 3-0 (25-23, 26-24, 25-18) win against the up-and-coming squad of Iran. Facundo Conte was on fire, adding 21 points to his team’s tally and becoming the best scorer of that match. The serve was the South American team’s strongest weapon against the Asian rivals, providing for seven aces in the three sets, but whether they will be able to use it as successfully against the European stronghold on Tuesday remains to be seen.
Argentina were already able to give the Russians a major upset earlier this year. The two teams met in Lodz, Poland in an FIVB Volleyball World League 2016 match on June 26 and the South Americans achieved a 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 28-26) shutout. This was kind of a revenge for the 1-3 (19-25, 25-21, 18-25, 20-25) loss to the Russians at FIVB Volleyball World Cup 2015 on September 9 in Hamamatsu, Japan.