Rogers-Dalhausser look to make Olympic history

 

Todd Rogers, left, and Phil Dalhausser, right, are the defending Olympic gold medalists in beach volleyball.

Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser got a little scare heading into the London Olympics. On Sunday, Dalhausser hurt his ankle during the semifinals of an international tour event in Austria and the team elected to forfeit the match.

On Monday, Rogers said Dalhausser?s ankle is fine and they will be ready to defend their gold medal at the sold-out 15,000-seat stadium on the grounds of the iconic Horse Guards Parade, located on the Prime Minister?s doorstep in central London.

?(It?s) just a tweak and (we) didn?t want to risk anything on a hard-packed surface in the bronze medal game,? Rogers said in an email to Presidio Sports from Klagenfurt, Austria, where heavy rain last Saturday packed the sand at the FIVB tournament. ?If it were the gold-medal game, he would have played.?

Rogers-Dalhausser are looking to become the first repeat gold medalists for men?s beach volleyball at the Olympics. (American women Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh are going for their third straight gold.)

The sport has had four different champions, including three from the U.S., and all three have Santa Barbara ties: Santa Barbara High alum Karch Kiraly won the first gold with Kent Steffes in Atlanta in 1996; UCSB grad Eric Fonoimoana captured the 2000 gold in Australia with Dain Blanton, and San Marcos High and UCSB alum Rogers won with Dalhausser in China in 2008

In London, Rogers-Dalhausser are seeded second behind Brazil?s Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti ? Rego won the gold in Greece in 2004 with Ricardo Santos.

?(We?re) confident that if we play well we can beat everyone,? said Rogers, who has shown no effects from the knee surgery. he had last year. ?We have not been as consistent as we were before Beijing, though.?

But they haven?t played in as many tournaments. They’ve played in seven on the 2012 FIVB World Tour, winning the first two events they entered in Brazil and Shanghai, China and securing the first Olympic berth for a U.S. team. They went out in the first round in Beijing and garnered a bronze medal in the Czech Republic before taking the month of June off from the tour.

They returned to Europe in July and placed fourth in Switzerland, ninth in Germany and forfeited the semifinals in Austria.

In 2008, Rogers-Dalhausser were doing double duty. They played in 10 events on the domestic AVP Tour (winning eight of them) and six on the FIVB World Tour before claiming the gold at the Beijing Olympics.

?The biggest thing is no AVP at home, so we have been on the road more,? Rogers said of the difference in preparation for the London Olympics. ?We took June off, but it?s still nicer to pick and choose a few FIVB tourneys and then play at home; be home and be in our own beds.?

Even though they haven?t medaled in their last three FIVB events, Rogers says they?ve played better in each one.

They hope to be in peak form in London.

Rogers-Dalhausser open pool play at the Olympics against Japan?s Kentar Asahi-Katsuhiro Shiratori on Sunday (July 29) at 2 p.m. Pacific Time (10 p.m. in London). Their other pool play matches are against Spain?s Adrian Gavira-Pablo Herrera (July 31, 1 p.m. PT) and Petr Benes-Presysl Kubala of Czech Republic (Aug. 2, 1 p.m. PT)

Asked to describe the feeling of representing his country at the Olympic Games, Rogers said: ?Special. Very few people outside of the military get to represent their country. It is an honor and privilege and, hopefully, Phil and I can do our country proud and bring home another gold medal.?

2012 Olympic Games Beach Volleyball

MEN?s Pool Assignments
Seed, Team, Country

POOL A

Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego, Brazil

Jefferson Bellaguarda/Patrick Heuscher, Switzerland

Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai, Italy

Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst, Austria

POOL B

Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers, United States

Adrian Gavira Collado/Pablo Herrera, Spain

Petr Benes/Presysl Kubala, Czech Republic

Kentaro Asahi/Katsuhiro Shiratori, Japan

POOL C

Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann, Germany

Penggen Wu/Linyin Xu, China

Sebastian Chevallier/Sascha Heyer, Switzerland

Serguei Prokopiev/Konstantin Semonov, Russia

POOL D

Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal, United States

Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel, Poland

Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Ruslans Sorokins, Latvia

Freedom Chiya/Grant Goldschmit, South Africa

POOL E

Reinder Nummerdor/Richard Schuil, Netherlands

Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik, Germany

Martins Plavins/Janis Smedins, Latvia

Igor Hernandez/Jesus Villafane, Venezuela

POOL F

John Garcia-Thompson/Steven Grotowski, Great Britain

Pedro Cunha/Ricardo Santos, Brazil

Tarjei Skarlund/Martin Spinnangr, Norway

Josh Binstock/Martin Reader, Canada

WOMEN?s Pool Assignments
Seed, Team, Country

POOL A

Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca, Brazil

Katrin Hloltwick/Ilka Semmler, Germany

Lenka Hajeckova/Hana Klapalova, Czech Republic

Natacha Rigobert/Elodie Li Yuk Lo, Mauritius

POOL B

Chen Xue/Xi Zhang, China

Simone Kuhn/Nadine Zumkehr, Switzerland

Vasiliki Arvaniti/Maria Tsiartsiani, Greece

Anastasia Vasina/Anna Vozakova, Russia

POOL C

Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh, United States

Kristyna Kolocova/Marketa Slukova, Czech Republic

Doris Schwaiger/Stefanie Schwaiger, Austria

Natalie Cook/Tamsin Hinchley, Australia

POOL D

Jennifer Kessy/April Ross, United States

Sanne Keizer/Marleen Van Iersel, Netherlands

Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez, Spain

Ana Gallay/Maria Zonta, Argentina

POOL E

Maria Antonelli/Talita Antunes, Brazil

Sara Goller/Laura Ludwig, Germany

Louise Bawden/Becchara Palmer, Australia

Madelein Meppelink/Sophie van Gestel, Netherlands

POOL F

Zara Dampney/Shauna Mullin, Great Britain

Greta Cicolari/Marta Menegatti, Italy

Ekaterina Khomyakova/Evgenia Ukolova, Russia

Marie-Andree Lessard/Annie Martin, Canada

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