Host nation Brazil made sure the closing of the 2016 Rio Olympics will end on a high note when it won the gold in men’s volleyball.
The Brazilian men’s volleyball team outclassed its finals rival Italy in straight sets 25-22, 28-26, 26-24 at the Maracanazinho for its seven gold medal and 19th overall.
— Olympics (@Olympics) August 21, 2016
Wallace De Souza top scored for Brazil with 20 points, seven came from spikes, two from blocks, and one service ace.
De Souza is also the tournament’s leading scorer with 147 points in total.
Luis Felipe Fonteles contributed 11, including the final block point against Ivan Zaytsev, while Mauricio De Souza and Lucas Saatkamp contributed 8 and 7 points, respectively.
The home crowd went festive with the podium finish of their men’s volleyball team, its seventh gold in Rio, chanting “Campeao! Campeao!” while dancing in the stands.
Zaytsev and Osmany Juantorena finished with 17 and 14 points, respectively, for Italy.
Brazil had a familiar audience in the stands with Gabriel Jesus and Neymar Jr. attending the final match.
The Brazil men’s football team claimed the gold medal against Germany the day before thanks to Neymar’s winning penalty kick.
Finally, a gold medal
Team captain Bruno Rezendo — son of coach Bernardo — relished the moment where Brazil claimed the gold after two consecutive silvers.
“We deserved this medal so much. It’s much more special to do it at home, it’s a magical moment. Everything we went through and now we are Olympic champions,” Rezendo said in the post-game.
— FIVB (@FIVBVolleyball) August 21, 2016
“This generation was said to be chokers. After so many silvers, now we’re gold,” he added.
The Brazil men’s volleyball team were runners-up in the previous Olympics in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.
Meanwhile, Italy won its third silver medal in the Olympics along with three bronzes.
USA claimed the bronze medal in an exciting fashion against Russia in five sets.
USA made a tremendous fightback against their foes from two sets down to win the bronze 23-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-19, 15-13.