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Olympic Beach Volleyball 2012: Bold Predictions for Men's Gold-Medal Match

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06:  A judge looks on as Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti of Brazil wait to return serve against Mariusz Prudel and Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland during the Men's Beach Volleyball a quarterfinal match between Brazil and Poland on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Horse Guards Parade August 6, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Zachary ArthurCorrespondent IIAugust 9, 2012

It's wild to think that there is only one beach volleyball match left in the 2012 London Olympics. Playing in one of the best venues, the German duo of Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann will be playing against the Brazilian pair of Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti for the gold medal.

It's really a battle of experience with this matchup, as Brazil's Emanuel has previously medaled two times in this event, winning a gold in Athens and a bronze in Beijing.

Neither Brink nor Reckermann have won an Olympic medal, but they do have a 2009 World Championship to their name. That does say a little something.

There is also this added pressure for the German team, as winning would make them the first European team to win an Olympic gold medal in men's beach volleyball.

So who's going to claim the gold?

People should definitely expect the Brazilians to come right out and establish some sort of dominance over the Germans, who will most likely struggle early as they take some time throwing away the nerves that come with this kind of match.

Emanuel, 39, is clearly the most decorated and experienced person in this match, competing in his fifth Olympics, but he also is the oldest.

Sure, getting to this game might have been tough on him, but you can't expect him to physically struggle in a game that he'll be so excited for, can you?

Rueters writer Estelle Shirbon quoted Emanuel saying this about how Alison, his 27-year-old partner, has motivated him (per NBC Olympics):

"He put some fire inside me, he brought motivation again. Every day we train together I have something new to change my game. That's the good feeling I have about this final because I'm playing with a young player who gives me everything."

Could this be the defining fact of the match?

 

Prediction No. 1

This one has the potential to be a blowout. Look for the Brazilian team to dominate the first set, winning 21-15 as the German squad tries to adjust to playing for a gold medal.

The second set would be a little more competitive if it weren't for a big play that will take place around point No. 14 for the Brazilians. You have to expect Emanuel to have one more moment that puts his age into question and defines the end of his Olympic career.

Alison and Emanuel should take the second set, 21-17, and celebrate the entire 11-hour flight back home to Brazil by winning the gold medal in a dominating match.

 

Prediction No. 2

It's the Olympics, people! They come around every four years, and if you got there, then chances are you know how to perform on a big stage.

Germany's Brink and Reckermann are no slouches—winning the 2009 World Championship does mean they can play—and it wouldn't be out of question for the Germans to steal the second set, 23-21.

Stepping up and forcing that third set could make the Brazilians uncomfortable enough to struggle in the third set, but in all reality, it should only make them play better.

The Brazilians should take the third set 15-12, and regardless of how you look at it, it's hard to see them losing this one.

But hey, that's why they play the game.

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