It’s the moment we’re all looking forward to. All of the teams have played each other as the winners move on through the ranks to the final match.
The players leave it all out on the court for a chance to win a gold medal at the Olympics.
It’s a momentous occasion as the final match ends and the winner reigns victorious.
So who do we think will win the gold, silver and bronze medals in the indoor volleyball competition at this year’s Olympic Games?
Women’s Volleyball Tournament
How do our medal predictions stack up against our team of ex-professional volleyball players? None of our experts have predicted the same 3 medal winners, though the USA appear to be firm favourite to take Olympic gold, as predicted by ourselves and two of our pros!
Bronze – Turkey
In our opinion, we think Turkey will pull out a win in a bronze medal match against China because I think they’re just scrappy enough to push through to the end. This is not going to be an easy win by any means as the women’s national team for China won the gold medal in the last Olympics. Still, Turkey won silver at the 2018 FIVB Nations League, as well as made it to the semifinals of the 2021 VNL, so they have the skills to make it far in this tournament.
Also, Turkey has a lot of great players on their team this year like Eda Erdem Dündar who is an experienced middle blocker that can make life hard on the opposing hitters, as well as their young gun on the opposite, Ebrar Karakurt. She made a strong appearance at the 2021 VNL with bright pink hair and massive attacks from both the front and back row.
Silver – Brazil
This may be a bit of an lame, straightforward prediction, but I think Brazil and USA are going to the gold medal match this year. They are both at the top of the FIVB leaderboard and just played each other in the finals of the 2021 VNL tournament. It’s a safe choice to put these two teams in the final match together, but I think it’s the right one.
With how good USA is this year, I think Brazil is going to win the silver medal, falling to Team USA in the final match. This is going to be a well-fought match with each game being close because these teams are both so good. Brazil has made a name for itself as one of the biggest volleyball powerhouse countries in the world, due to its ability to pull out wins in both the indoor and beach competitions, on both the men’s and women’s sides.
Brazil is looking really good this year in the women’s indoor competition with solid players on the outside like Gabi, Natalia Pereira and Tandara Caixeta. They also have a really strong setter with Macris and a sneaky good libero with Camila. They have the experience and the skills to play really well, but ultimately, I think they will end up with the silver medal this year.
Gold – USA
Now for the main event. Like I said above, I think Brazil will take on Team USA in the final match for Gold, and I think USA is going to win. This is a very exciting year for the Americans as the Olympics get started because USA has yet to win gold in the women’s indoor competition. They have won three silver medals and two bronze and are looking to finally add a gold to that collection.
And USA’s head coach, Karch Kiraly, wants to add a third gold to complete his gold medal trifecta: a gold in the men’s indoor competition, a gold in the men’s beach competition and a gold as head coach of the USA women’s national team.
Team USA is very good this year with a mix of experienced players coming back for their second or third Olympics and newer players playing in their first ever Olympic Games. With veterans like Jordan Larson and Michelle Bartsch-Hackley hitting on the outside and Jordan Poulter’s creative sets, USA has a very strong attack. It’s going to be fun to watch these hitters go up against Brazil, if they get to play each other in the final match because both teams have such a strong offense.
Let’s see if USA can edge out Brazil this year and win their first ever Olympic gold medal.
Men’s Indoor Competition
Bronze – France
I believe that France will play in the bronze medal match and win. There’s a lot of good teams playing in the Olympics this year, so it’s hard to say which team will play against France, but I think they’ll win this match nonetheless. This match will be a fun one to watch because it’s always fun to watch France play in my opinion. They have such huge hits and blocks, and just the right amount of smack talk to make the matches heated.
France has yet to win a medal at the Olympics. Even when they have a really good team going into the first rounds of preliminaries, they seem to choke in the tournament setting. So why is this year going to be different? First of all, they earned the No. 4 spot in the 2021 VNL, so their history with tournament play may not be a factor in this year’s Olympic Games.
Second, they have a stellar team with Earvin N’Gapeth as a scary good outside hitter, as well as one of the best liberos in men’s indoor right now, Jenia Grebennikov. With these two veterans and an overall solid team, I think that France can take this bronze medal as long as they stay focused in the preliminary rounds.
Silver – Brazil
For the final match of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, I see Brazil going up against Poland. Both teams are looking super solid this year, so predicting a winner is really tough. In the end, I think it’s going to be Brazil that wins the silver, falling to Poland in that final match.
Though Brazil is wicked good this year with players like Yoandy Leal, Ricardo Lucarelli Souza and Maurício Borges, I just don’t think they have as much drive as Poland to win. These guys are just so good and so solid, but their team has already won three gold medals and three silver medals.
Brazil is a very steady team and a great team all the way down to the bench, so I don’t see them having any issue making it to at least the quarterfinals of this competition. They have hard hitters and smart players, but I just don’t think their team chemistry is as strong as Poland, which is why they will have to settle for silver instead of gold this year.
Gold – Poland
Last, but certainly not least, is the team that will head home with gold medals around their necks, which is going to be Poland. Like I said above, I think this match will be a fight to the bitter end with each team playing hard until the final point. It’s been 45 years since Poland won a medal, which was a gold medal in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, so it’s about time they step onto the podium once again.
Poland not only has the drive to win a gold medal this year, but they also have the team to do it. They’ve been the reigning World Champion since 2014, and lost to Brazil in the finals of the 2021 VNL, so I think they’ll have some unfinished business they want to take care of when they meet Brazil again on the Olympic stage.
Poland’s front row is also something to watch out for with veteran players Bartosz Kamil Kurek and Michal Kubiak sandwiching the newcomer Jakub Kochanowski. Their mix of traditional play and mixing up sets is going to be a huge asset going into the Olympics. Also, Kochanowski’s single block is something that Brazil has to keep an out for, because it is killer.
This gold medal match is going to be super fun to watch and even more fun if Poland’s able to pull off a win against the volleyball behemoth that is Brazil.
Who are your picks for the podium at this year’s Olympic Games? Do you think we missed a certain team?