Four years after winning gold in women’s volleyball, Brazil’s dreams of retaining that title on home soil came to an end late Tuesday.
China upset Brazil in five sets, winning 15-25, 25-23, 25-22, 22-25, 15-13, and they’ll take on Netherlands in the semifinals as a result. After a first set in which the host Brazilians were in complete control, China struck back at a time when some teams would have simply folded.
Brazil led 11-6 at one point in the second set, but China rebounded by scoring the next five points to tie the set at 11 points apiece. From that point forward the set was tight with regards to the score, with a fault by Sheilla giving China the 25-23 victory. China would take the third set as well before Brazil evened things up at two sets apiece, sending the match to the decisive fifth set.
Neither team would lead by more than two in the final set, with Zhu Ting’s spike being the final point of the match.
Brazil’s defeat means that not only will there be a new Olympic champion, but there won’t be a rematch of the 2012 gold medal match either. The U.S., which took silver in London four years ago, advanced with a win over Japan earlier Tuesday and will face Serbia in Thursday’s semifinals. And with Brazil no longer in the picture, Karch Kiraly’s team is now the favorite to take home gold.