Emanuel

Emanuel Rego
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Emanuel, Brazil Olympic beach volleyball legend, set to retire

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Emanuel, the most successful beach volleyball player since the FIVB tour began in earnest 20 years ago, will retire at age 42 later this month, according to Brazilian reports.

Emanuel will reportedly make next week’s FIVB World Tour Grand Slam in Rio de Janeiro his final event.

Emanuel and veteran partner Ricardo were passed over in September when Brazil named its two Olympic men’s beach volleyball teams for the Rio Olympics.

Emanuel competed in all five previous Olympic beach volleyball tournaments, taking gold in 2004, bronze in 2008 and silver in 2012. He also won World Championships in 1999, 2003 and 2011 with three different partners.

He also won a record 76 FIVB international tour events in a record 254 appearances going into this season, the last title in 2012.

That’s 19 more tour titles than the leading woman, active Brazilian Larissa. Three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh Jennings has 50 wins in 106 appearances.

Karch Kiraly, who captured Olympic indoor gold in 1984 and 1988 and beach gold in 1996, won 122 domestic AVP tournaments during his career.

MORE: Kerri Walsh Jennings returns, motivated by Karch Kiraly

Brazil leaves beach volleyball legends off Olympic team

Ricardo, Emanuel
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Brazilian beach volleyball partners Ricardo and Emanuel, who combined to earn medals at each of the last four Olympics, together or separately, were left off the nation’s Olympic team Wednesday.

Brazil’s volleyball federation named its complete Olympic beach volleyball team, the already qualified Larissa and Talita and Alison and Bruno, and Agatha and Barbara and Evandro and Pedro.

The team announcement was no surprise. Agatha and Barbara won the World Championship in July. Evandro and Pedro were the only Brazilian men’s pair other than World champions Alison and Bruno to make an FIVB World Tour final this season.

Ricardo, 40, and Emanuel, 42, reunited last summer and made zero FIVB World Tour semifinals this season. Emanuel owns more international victories than any other man or woman.

Ricardo and Ze Marco won silver at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Ricardo and Emanuel won Brazil’s last Olympic beach volleyball title at Athens 2004 and bronze at Beijing 2008.

At London 2012, Emanuel and Alison took Olympic bronze.

Ricardo and Emanuel are reserves in case Alison and Bruno or Evandro and Pedro can’t play at Rio 2016.

Brazil may go into the Rio Olympics with gold-medal favorites in both men’s and women’s beach volleyball.

Larissa and Talita and Alison and Bruno lead the FIVB World Tour in wins this season.

Larissa and Talita beat three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh Jennings and Olympic silver medalist April Ross in the World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach, Calif., in August, though Walsh Jennings played that tournament with a right shoulder injury that required surgery.

MORE BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Kerri Walsh Jennings out until March