Olympics: US men fight back to down Russia for bronze volleyball medal

USA's Erik Shoji celebrates after scoring during the men's Bronze Medal volleyball match between USA and Russia on Sunday (Aug 21).
USA's Erik Shoji celebrates after scoring during the men's Bronze Medal volleyball match between USA and Russia on Sunday (Aug 21).PHOTO: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The United States men's volleyball team recovered to defeat defending Olympic champions Russia in a titanic five-set battle for the bronze medal on Sunday.

The US lost the first two sets but came back to win 23-25 21-25 25-19 25-19 15-13, with an ace in the tie-breaker by top scorer Matt Anderson helping to seal the victory.

The Americans, a young team with eight players who had never competed in the Olympics, came to Rio seeking a fourth US gold medal in the sport and were favourites after winning the World Cup last year.

 

They lost their first two matches against Canada and Italy, who beat them again in the semi-finals and will face hosts Brazil for the gold medal later on Sunday. 

 

The US women's volleyball team also went home with the bronze after failing to win an elusive first gold for their country.