Italian stallions roar in to Rio semis

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 15, 2016 – Italy’s Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai reached the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games men’s semifinals with a 2-1 (21-18, 20-22, 15-11) win over Russia’s Nikita Liamin and Dmitri Barsuk at Copacabana Beach Arena on Monday.

Here’s what they said after the match….

Paolo Nicolai, Italy
“For us every game was a final and now it is the same, a real final in fact. We will continue to go game by game. We definitely have two more matches and will be here till the end of the competition. Now is our moment, we are here, we have to play and we have to do our best.

“We were down in the (second) set, but we were so close to them. They played amazing, especially Barsuk in defence but it was a game where we knew the opponents are a great team, so we just thought ‘let’s go, let’s get a side-out’ and we tried to use the wind and make block defence movement to score some points. 

“We know that my service is one of our weapons and for the first time in the game I knew where the wind came from, so I used the wind and let the ball do the work.”

Dmitri Barsuk, Russia
“Not everything we planned to do worked. I think we performed pretty well and better than usual. They took some risks on the serve and they played off. 

Nikita Liamin, Russia
“We will see how we go next year. We will go home to Russia and sit down and summarise how we did at the Olympics.”


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