Gstaad, Switzerland, July 10, 2016 - Two teams headed to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will face off here Sunday afternoon for the 16th men’s gold medal in this Swiss Alps village as Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena meet Evandro Goncalves and Pedro Solberg of Brazil in the finals of the US$800,000 Gstaad Major.
In the next-to-last FIVB World Tour event prior to the Copacabana quadrennial August 6-18, Dalhausser and Lucena will be playing the Brazilians for only the second-time on the international circuit as the two teams met earlier this season with the Americans posting a 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 15-12) win in 55 minutes over Evandro and Pedro to capture the gold medal at the Maceio Open at the end of February in Brazil.
With the Gstaad Major being the 348th men’s FIVB World Tour event, Sunday’s finale will mark the 64th-time that Brazil and the United States have played for an international gold medal. The Brazilians have a 32-31 edge with the Dalhausser/Lucena win in Maceio the last title confrontation between the two countries.
The second-seeded Dalhausser and Lucena have rebounded from a pool play setback to a Mexican team Friday to win four-straight matches highlighted by a 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) semi-final win in 36 minutes over sixth-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins of Latvia.
It was the Americans’ third win in four FIVB World Tour matches over Samoilovs and Smedins with the two teams meeting in April in a semi-final match at the Fuzhou Open in China with Dalhausser and Lucena posting a 2-0 (21-19, 21-13) win in 36 minutes over the Latvians. Samoilovs and Smedins’ lone victory was in the gold medal match at the 2015 Sochi Open in Russia.
Click here for the interview with Pedro.
To reach their first final in six FIVB World Tour events, Evandro and Pedro posted a 2-0 (21-13, 21-18) semi-final win in 35 minutes over seventh-seeded Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera of Spain. It was the fourth win in six matches for Evandro and Pedro over the Spaniards as Gavira and Herrera won the last meeting with a 2-0 (21-15, 30-28) elimination win last month at the smart Major Hamburg.
While Dalhausser and Lucena are seeking their sixth FIVB World Tour gold medal in 17 international events, Evandro and Pedro are chasing their second in 19 tournaments with their lone title at the Stavanger Major in Norway. A win by Evandro and Pedro will mark the 56th gold medal sweep for the Brazilians at a FIVB World Tour event as compatriots Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca captured the women’s title Saturday by defeating American rivals April Ross and Kerry Walsh Jennings for the top spot on the Gstaad Major podium.