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Olympic Indoor Volleyball 2021: Men's Medal Winners, Scores and Results

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 7, 2021

France's Earvin Ngapeth (C) celebrates a point with teammates in the men's gold medal volleyball match between France and Russia during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on August 7, 2021. (Photo by JUNG Yeon-je / AFP) (Photo by JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images)
JUNG YEON-JE/Getty Images

France completed one of the best underdog stories of the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday by winning the men's volleyball gold medal. 

France had not finished higher than eighth place in any of its four previous appearances at the Summer Olympics. 

The gold-winning side busted out a two-set lead over the Russian Olympic Committee before the match was forced into a fifth set. The first four sets in Olympic volleyball are played to 25. The final set is a race to 15 points. 

France used the first of its two match points to finish off the Russians and capture the nation's first-ever gold and overall medal in men's volleyball. 

     

France 3, Russian Olympic Committee 2

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France took the early control of the gold-medal match by winning the first two sets 25-23 and 25-17. 

The ROC bounced back with two straight-set victories by a 25-21 score, but France regained control in the final set. 

France broke away on the scoreboard after the final set was tied at 11. The European side used a 4-1 advantage in the final five points to capture the gold medal. 

The French were powered by Earvin Ngapeth, who was responsible for a match-high 26 points. Jean Patry contributed 15 points and Trevor Clevenot chipped in 11 points. 

The win looks even more shocking when you consider the volleyball histories of both sets of athletes. Russia medaled in men's volleyball in five of the last six Olympics. 

The Russian athletes are competing under the Russian Olympic Committee name because the Russian flag and anthem are banned from the Tokyo Olympics due to the results of a doping scandal. 

France's victory may set up a lengthy run at, or near, the top of the sport. The French will host the next Summer Olympics in Paris in 2024 and should use the success in Tokyo to further grow the success of the program. 

      

Argentina 3, Brazil 2

Argentina bested its South American rival to come away with its second-ever bronze medal. 

The Argentines won the opening set 25-23, but then Brazil rallied back for a pair of 25-20 results to earn a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth set. 

Argentina rallied back to earn the largest margin of victory in a set in the bronze-medal match. It took the fourth set 25-17. 

The bronze medalists carried that momentum into the fifth set that they won 15-13. The five-set victory secured the country's first men's volleyball medal since it won the bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. 

Argentina earned four of its five victories in Tokyo by 3-2 margins. The only win of another type came in a straight-set group-stage victory over the United States. 

Saturday's win over Brazil avenged a 3-2 loss that occurred in the group stage. Brazil won the gold medal at the 2004 and 2016 Olympics, but it could not come away from Tokyo with a medal.   

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