TALKIN’ STATS: Rio 2016 Olympic Games Beach Volleyball Women’s Review


With Germany, Brazil and the United States placing women's teams on the Copacabana beach volleyball podium, there are plenty of women's final stats to be talking about from this year's memorable Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Lausanne, Switzerland, August 18, 2016 — Quickly developing a showcase presence in Rio de Janeiro for the past three weeks with its iconic competition venue and Volleyball House, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) takes a look at some of the significant stats from the women’s Beach Volleyball competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The beach volleyball competition, featuring 24 two-person teams in each gender has been held in the 12,000-set purpose-built stadium on the sands of legendary Copacabana Beach. The women’s medal matches were held Wednesday and the men’s will be held tonight.

After 54 magnificent matches, emerging from their sandy battles ‘at the Copa’ to earn Olympic immortality with podium placements were women’s teams from Germany, host country Brazil and the United States.

 Winning the first women’s gold medal for Germany was fourth-seeded Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst who upset Brazil’s second-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas in straight sets, 21-18, 21-14 in 40 minutes. Earning the bronze medal Wednesday night was USA’s third-seeded Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross who came from behind to upset Brazil’s top-seeded Larissa Franca/Talita Antunes in three spectacular sets, 17-21, 21-17 and 15-9 in 50 minutes.
This year marked only the second time in six Olympic Games that have included Beach Volleyball as a medal sport that the stadium was built on a beach. The other time was the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Australia where beach volleyball was held at Bondi Beach.

Visiting the country where the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour was born, this is the fifth time this year that the FIVB has had an event in Brazil. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first FIVB beach volleyball event held Feb. 17-22, 1987 in Rio. The gold medal was won by USA’s Sinjin Smith/Randy Stokles.

Overall, counting five women’s events this year, Brazil has hosted 79 total FIVB events, at least one has been held every season that the FIVB has played beach volleyball. Rio de Janeiro has hosted 27 total events, including the 1999 World Championships. Fortaleza has hosted 11 events, followed by Vitória with 10 total events, followed by Brasília with eight total events and Salvador with seven.  There have been 41 total men’s events and 36 total women’s events in Brazil.

In the medal count for events held in the South American country, Brazil is far ahead in both genders. For the men prior to tonight’s gold medal match, Brazil has 68 total medals followed by the United States with 25, Germany 6, Switzerland 6, Argentina 4, Netherlands 3, Poland 3, Canada 2, Latvia 2, China 1, Cuba 1, Italy 1, Mexico 1 and Norway 1.

In women’s medals for FIVB events held in Brazil including the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Brazil tops the chart with 63 total medals followed again by the USA with 31, Germany 6, Australia 3, Netherlands 3, Italy 2, China 1, Japan 1, Germany 1 and Poland 1.

With the sixth consecutive Olympic Games featuring Beach Volleyball as a medal sport, here are some tantalizing tidbits of interesting info regarding the final women’s team and player skill rankings:
•    Twenty-four (24) countries filled the berths for the Rio 2016 Olympic Beach Volleyball competition. All five FIVB confederations were represented in the competition.
Asia - 1 men’s and 3 women’s teams; Africa - 1 men’s and 1 women’s teams; Europe - 13 men’s and 11 women’s teams; NORCECA - 6 men’s and 5 women’s teams; South America - 3 men’s and 4 women’s teams
•    ACES—
Brazil’s Agatha/Barbara led the Olympics with 33 ace serves in seven matches followed by Germany’s Ludwig/Walkenhorst with 28, Brazil’s Larissa/Talita with 24 (both teams in seven matches) and fourth in five matches was Germany’s Karla Borger/Britta Buthe with 19.
•    ATTACKS—Spain’s Liliana Fernandez/Else Baqueriza topped the list with a 62 percent attack success rate (112 kills in 181 attempts) in four matches with a tie for second at 61% in seven matches for both USA’s Walsh Jennings/Ross (210 of 343) and Germany’s Ludwig/Walkenhorst (186 of 308). Tied for third at 59% success rate were Brazil’s Agatha/Barbara (191 of 322 in seven matches) and Australia’s Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy (146 of 246 in five matches).
•    BLOCKS—USA’s Walsh Jennings/Ross led the way with 30 blocks in seven matches followed in second by Germany’s Ludwig/Walkenhorst with 28 in seven matches. Third in blocks with 25 in five matches was Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr and fourth with 24 blocks in seven matches was Brazil’s Larissa/Talita.
•    DIGS—Leading the tournament was USA’s Walsh Jennings/Ross with 128 successful digs in seven matches followed in second was Brazil’s Larissa/Talita with 100 in seven matches as well. Third was Switzerland’s Heidrich/Zumkehr with 98 in five matches and fourth was Canada’s Sarah Pavan/Heather Bansley with 93 successful digs in five matches.
With the top five individuals all averaging nine points per set, first with 143 total points scored in seven matches was Brazil’s Talita, second was Germany’s Walkenhorst with 141 in seven matches, third was USA’s Walsh Jennings with 140 in seven matches, fourth was Brazil’s Barbara with 134 in seven matches and fifth was Switzerland’s Heidrich with 111 total points in five matches.
•    ACES—With the top five individuals all playing in seven matches, the top individual in service aces was Brazil’s Larissa with 21 while second was Brazil’s Barbara with 19, third was Germany’s Walkenhorst with 19, fourth was Brazil’s Agatha with 14 and fifth was Germany’s Ludwig with 13.
•    FASTEST SERVES—Netherlands’ Sophie van Gestel recorded the fastest serve in the Olympics at 83 km/h followed by Netherlands’ Marleen Van Iersel at 81 km/h, Australia’s Clancy was third at 78 km/h, fourth was USA’s Ross at 77 km/h and tied for fifth with each having a top serve of 76 km/h were China’s Yuan Yue and Germany’s Buthe.
•    ATTACKS—Tied for first with a 64% attack success rate were Germany’s Walkenhorst (98 of 154 in seven matches) and Brazil’s Agatha (105 of 167 in seven matches) while tied for third with a 63% attack success rate were USA’s Walsh Jennings (105 of 167 in seven matches), Australia’s Clancy (84 of 134 in five matches) and Canada’s Pavan (51 of 81 in five matches).
•    BLOCKS—USA’s Walsh Jennings topped this skill category with 30 blocks in seven matches followed by Germany’s Walkenhorst with 28 in seven matches while tied for third with 23 blocks each were Switzerland’s Heidrich (five matches) and Brazil’s Talita (seven matches) and fifth was Canada’s Pavan with 19 (five matches).
•    DIGS—Recording the most successful digs in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games was USA’s Ross with 83 in seven matches followed by Canada’s Heather Bansley with 81 (five matches), Switzerland’s Zumkehr with 78 (five Matches), Germany’s Ludwig with 76 (seven matches) and fifth in successful digs was Brazil’s Larissa with 69 (seven matches).

Brazil is hosting five international events in 2016. In addition to Maceió, Rio, Vitoria and Fortaleza, the Brazil events will be capped with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Aug. 6-18). One more event remains on the 2016 FIVB World Tour schedule followed by the finals.

Following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, there are two more events scheduled on the 2016 FIVB World Tour calendar. First event scheduled is in the United States--the regular-season finale--ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball at the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam (Aug. 23-28, Southern California) and the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals (Sept. 13-18, Toronto, Canada). The Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals, with $100,000 going to each winning team, will feature the top eight point leaders in each gender from the current FIVB World Tour plus four wild card teams in each gender.

The ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball at the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam in the United States will be the 350th men’s tournament since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 311th FIVB women’s tournament since their competition started in 1992.

FIVB 2016
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland as the international governing body for the Olympic sports of Beach Volleyball and Volleyball, the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball calendar features a purse of US$8.25 million with a season that extends from last October to this October, competing at 22 venues in 12 countries. The schedule includes four FIVB Grand Slams, four Swatch FIVB Major Series events, 13 FIVB Opens and the special Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals. The showcase event will be the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil (Aug. 6-18).

The 2015 portion of the 2016 FIVB World Tour calendar started in October in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and included two more open events prior to the remainder of the schedule resuming at the FIVB Kish Island Open in Iran in February.

Implemented in 2013, the format of all the FIVB Beach Volleyball international tournaments – whether FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam or FIVB Beach Volleyball Open – are the same, featuring pool play followed by single elimination knockout rounds. Country Quota playoffs returned as needed in 2015 to determine the final teams for the qualification tournament.


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