Brazil leaves beach volleyball legends off Olympic team
Brazilian beach volleyball partners Ricardo and Emanuel, who combined to earn medals at each of the last four Olympics, together or separately, were left off the nation’s Olympic team Wednesday.
Brazil’s volleyball federation named its complete Olympic beach volleyball team, the already qualified Larissa and Talita and Alison and Bruno, and Agatha and Barbara and Evandro and Pedro.
The team announcement was no surprise. Agatha and Barbara won the World Championship in July. Evandro and Pedro were the only Brazilian men’s pair other than World champions Alison and Bruno to make an FIVB World Tour final this season.
Ricardo, 40, and Emanuel, 42, reunited last summer and made zero FIVB World Tour semifinals this season. Emanuel owns more international victories than any other man or woman.
Ricardo and Ze Marco won silver at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Ricardo and Emanuel won Brazil’s last Olympic beach volleyball title at Athens 2004 and bronze at Beijing 2008.
At London 2012, Emanuel and Alison took Olympic bronze.
Ricardo and Emanuel are reserves in case Alison and Bruno or Evandro and Pedro can’t play at Rio 2016.
Brazil may go into the Rio Olympics with gold-medal favorites in both men’s and women’s beach volleyball.
Larissa and Talita and Alison and Bruno lead the FIVB World Tour in wins this season.
Larissa and Talita beat three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh Jennings and Olympic silver medalist April Ross in the World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach, Calif., in August, though Walsh Jennings played that tournament with a right shoulder injury that required surgery.
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