Latvian beach volleyball players Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins won the match against Holland’s Richard Schuil and Reinder Nummerdor on August 9 with a score of 2-1 (19:21, 21.19, 15:11) earning Latvia bronze medals as a result.
This is the first set of medals for Latvia in the London 2012 Olympics.
In the beginning of the match, the score was 1:0 in the favour of Schuil/Nummerdor, but soon the score was 3:1 in the favour of Latvian sportsman. Latvia’s opponents managed to even the score in the next two plays, but immediately after that Plavins Smedins took back the lead – 5:3. Holland’s sportsmen did manage to even the score, but the initiative remained in the hands of Latvia’s duet that remained in the lead with a score of 10:8 after 18 plays. Plavins/Smedins preserved a two-point advantage in a late game as well, having a score of 15:13 after 28 plays. Schuil/Nummerdor finally reached a draw of 17:17.
The draw remained even after four more plays (19:19), but then the initiative was taken by the duet from the Netherlads and they won the first set with a score of 21:19.
The second set began similarly, but Schuil/Nummerdor took the lead with a score of 5:2. Shortly after, the gap increased by three more points (8:3). However, Martins/Plavins gained five points one after another and evened the score. Both teams gained two more points in the later plays (10:10). Latvians failed to gain the lead; instead, the duo from Netherlands restored a two-point advantage (13:11). Latvian sportsmen did manage to regain an advantage and regain the lead in the next play with a score of 14:13.
The tense struggle continued until the end of the set, which ended with the victory of Latvian sportsmen with a score of 21:19.
After the first six plays in the final set the score was a draw – 3:3, which remained through the following six plays – 6:6. Bit by bit the initiative weighted in the favour of Latvian players, who managed to gain the lead after 18 plays with a two-point advantage – 10:8. The score fluctuated intensely throughout the last set, but in the end, Latvians emerged victorious.
Plavins/Smedins lost the semi-final to their Brazilian competitors, the favourites of the volleyball tournament, Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti on Tuesday, with a score of 0-2 (15:21, 20:22).
Previously, Plavins/Smedins defeated the team from USA with a score of 2-1 (19:21, 21:18, 15:11). Before then, Latvians defeated the team from Norway – 2-0 (21:18, 21:16).