Tigerish Lupo and Nicolai set for ultimate test

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 16, 2016 – Italy’s Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai reached the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games beach volleyball men’s gold medal match by defeating Russia’s Konstantin Semenov and Viacheslav Krasilnikov 2-1 (15-21, 21-16, 15-13) in the semifinals at the Copacabana Beach Venue on Tuesday.

On Thursday they will meet Brazil’s Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt in the gold medal match, while Semenov and Krasilnikov will take on the Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen in the bronze medal match.

Here’s what they said after the match….

Paolo Nicolai, Italy
“I don’t how many times I will have the chance to play in the final of an Olympic Games, so I want to try to do the best that I can. We are excited to play this match in Brazil against the best team in the world. 

“For sure it (gold medal match) will be a tough match and will be very, very enjoyable to play in it. 

“What we said is, ‘we are playing a semifinal, we have to try to do something more’. What was amazing today was Daniele’s eyes, he was like a tiger and you could tell he wanted to win. It was great for me as I knew he was there on the court and doing his best.

“Our Federation made a great investment and we represent all of Italian beach volleyball. We are at the top but we are helped by a lot of people. Beach volleyball in Italy has grown a lot so for sure this medal will be something special.”

Daniele Lupo, Italy
“When I was young I dreamed of coming to an Olympic Games, but never a final of an Olympic Games. We have worked hard and worked with great coaches to great this point and I have to thank all those guys and the guys I used to play with when I started volleyball. 

“We know we can play well. The difference is our heads. When our heads are right we can compete with any team in the world.

“We have to put pressure on them (Alison and Bruno) like we have most of our matches and give few chances to them. Today we did that in the third set, like we did in the third set yesterday and that made the difference.”


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