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Potential Men’s Volleyball Medal Winners
Brazil aiming for record Olympic medal
Sitting at the top of the men’s volleyball world rankings is Brazil and Poland. Brazil is a force to be reckoned with this year, as with most years, and is back to win the gold medal for the second year in a row. If Brazil wins any medal this year at Tokyo, they will be the nation with the most Olympic medals in the men’s indoor volleyball competition. What helps set Brazil apart from the others is the depth of their bench. They have great outsides like Yoandy Leal, Ricardo Lucarelli Souza and Maurício Borges. So definitely watch out for them.
France to overcome tournament jitters?
France is a really good team, but they tend to not perform well when it comes to big tournaments. At Rio 2016, the last Olympic Games, they didn’t even make it to the quarterfinals and were eliminated just after the preliminary rounds. But this year, they have a lot of great players like Benjamin Toniutti in the setter position and Nicolas Le Goff in the middle blocker position. They also have Jenia Grebennikov, one of the best liberos in the world and Earvin Ngapeth, who seems to always perform better on the national team than on club teams. If they are able to perform in this high-pressure competition, then they might have a chance to win gold.
Is it Poland’s time?
And who could forget Poland? Being the reigning World Champion since 2014, this team is a force coming in hot into the Olympics. They’ve secured the fifth place position at the last four Olympic Games, so maybe this year will be the year for Poland to win the gold medal. Their starters are really good, but their bench is what puts this team in the running. They have Wilfredo Leon, who just smashed the all-time VNL serving record with 13 aces in one match, and Kamil Semeniuk, who’s new to the team, and a great addition to the outside position.
Can Iran be Tokyo’s darkhorses?
Iran is another one to watch out for. Even though they haven’t made too many waves in the world of volleyball, they have some of the top setters in the world: Saeid Marouf and Mohammad Taher Vadi.
Iran also has a lot of experienced players along with some younger players who can make some big plays, but it’s all about having them connect. Like the Canada women’s national team, Iran is working with a new coach, so if they are able to mesh together, Iran could be in the running for a medal.