Rio 2016 Preview: Volleyball

Sport: Volleyball

Events: Two (Men’s and Women’s)

Classification: Only sitting volleyball is contested, there are two classifications, disabled and minimal disability, only one minimal disability player may be on the court per team at a time. Players must remain in contact with the ground between their buttocks and shoulders when playing the ball.

Venue:  Riocentro Pavilion 6

Athlete Quota: 96 (16 teams)

International Federation: World Organization of Volleyball for the Disabled (WOVD)

Defending Champions: Men: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Women: China

Preview

Despite being a strong force in Olympic Volleyball, the hosts are not quite so strong in Paralympic Volleyball. Brazil has been improving but they still seem a long shot at making the podium in either gender.

There has been a fairly set top three in both events in recent years and those teams seem set to control the events again. In the men’s event it looks set to be a fight between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran for the gold medal, with the two having competed in the final at every Paralympic Games since Sydney 2000.

Russia would probably have been considered a strong candidate for bronze in Rio, but their ban solidifies Germany’s chances at winning the bronze. Egypt would also be in with a shout at winning bronze after strong performances in the last couple of Games.

The women’s tournament has only ever seen one gold medalist, China, and that trend looks set to continue in Rio. The United States have also won medals in each edition of the Games, and look set to so again.

The fight for Bronze is looking intense seemingly a fight between the Netherlands and Ukraine, the two teams who fought for that medal in London.  Japan could well be an outside chance at winning a medal, but will have to fight well.

 

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