Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 7, 2016 - Defending Olympic champions Russia will open their Rio 2016 bid with a game against Cuba. The two teams will meet in the second Pool B match on Sunday.
Both Russia and Cuba qualified for the men’s volleyball tournament at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games through their continental quota in January of this year. The Russians won the CEV European Olympic Qualification event in Berlin, while the Cubans booked their ticket at the NORCECA qualification tournament in Edmonton.
As a successor of the Soviet Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Russia is the most successful men’s team in Olympic volleyball history with as many as 10 medals. The only edition of the Games they missed was Los Angeles 1984. The only two other occasions the Russians did not medal were Barcelona 1992 when they participated as CIS and Atlanta 1996, their first appearance as Russia.
The Russians’ four Olympic titles came from Tokyo 1964, Mexico City 1968, Moscow 1980 and London 2012. They claimed silver medals at Montreal 1976, Seoul 1988 and Sydney 2000, and bronze medals at Munich 1972, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.
The Cubans have played at six editions of the Olympic Games, most recently at Sydney 2000, when they finished seventh. Their only medal is a bronze from Montreal 1976.
Russia and Cuba met at the FIVB Volleyball World Championship 2014 in Poland. On September 11, 2014, in a Pool F match in Wroclaw, the European powerhouse mastered a 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-15, 25-19) victory over their Caribbean opponents.