Tokyo Olympics volleyball moments


Haikyuu!! may be an anime, but it’s far from being unrealistic. In fact, the anime is so true to the sport that we can literally see Haikyuu!! scenes being played out IRL at the Tokyo Olympics men’s volleyball event.


1. Japan’s Ran Takahashi fakes a spike like Miya Osamu


tokyo olympics volleyball - ran fake spike
Image adapted from: Mediacorp

Japan and Canada faced off in the men’s volleyball event on 26th July 2021. During the 4th set, 19-year-old Ran Takahashi pulled off an impressive fake spike that fooled the opponent team’s blockers, allowing captain Yuki Ishikawa to score the point more easily.

tokyo olympics volleyball - osamu fake spike
Image adapted from: Production I.G

Running up to the net, Takahashi looked ready to smash the ball across the court. However, his stance changed in midair, and the spike turned into a surprise set instead. This is just like how Miya Osamu does it during the Karasuno High vs Inarizaki match.


2. Brazilian player’s Oikawa-like service ace confuses opponents


tokyo olympics volleyball - brazil service ace
Image adapted from: Mediacorp

Brazillian player Ricardo Lucarelli Souza was on fire during his team’s faceoff against Argentina. Amongst plenty of noteworthy plays, one of his service aces during the 4th set was particularly impressive. The ball went directly in between two opponent players, causing confusion amongst the opponents as to who should be the one receiving the ball. 

tokyo olympics volleyball - oikawa service ace
Image adapted from: Production I.G

This is almost a replica of that one service ace by Oikawa during the match between Karasuno and Aoba Johsai. The serve, directed to the middle of Tanaka and Nishinoya, caused the two Karasuno players to nearly crash into each other.


3. Japan’s IRL Nishinoya saves the day


tokyo olympics volleyball - nishinoya rolling thunder
Image adapted from: Production I.G

Nishinoya, our beloved ball of energy, is the backbone of Karasuno’s defence. Being a libero, he’s often the one receiving the hardest of spikes, and the one keeping the ball in play by any means necessary.

tokyo olympics volleyball - japan libero
Tomohiro Yamamoto in red
Image adapted from: Mediacorp

At the Tokyo Olympics, we got to witness the prowess of Team Japan’s own “Nishinoya” – Tomohiro Yamamoto – during a heart-stopping rally against Canada in the 4th set. No matter how hard the opponents spiked, the ball never landed on the ground owing to the libero’s quick reactions.


4. When the talented setter is also a great blocker


tokyo olympics volleyball - kageyama block
Image adapted from: Production I.G

Kageyama is a talented setter, but we must remember that he’s also extremely well-rounded. His solo block against Ojiro Aran is a case in point.

tokyo olympics volleyball - Micah Christenson block
Image adapted from: Mediacorp

Similarly, we got the chills when we saw USA’s setter, Micah Christenson, in action. He’s been crowned “Best Setter” at various international tournaments, such as the 2019 FIVB World Cup, but that doesn’t mean he’s lacking in other areas. His block against an ROC player in the 3rd set was just one of those moments when we remember how holistic Christenson’s skillset can be – just like Kageyama.


5. Ishikawa being the Daichi of Team Japan


daichi
Image adapted from: Production I.G

In volleyball, the captain is the heart of the team. For the Karasuno team, the members are blessed with a firm and dependable captain, Daichi.

yuki ishikawa
Image adapted from: Mediacorp

Like the reliable Daichi, who ensures that the team never gives up, the positive Ishikawa brings Team Japan together by lifting the team’s morale throughout matches at the Tokyo Olympics. Through small moments, such as giving his team a brief pep talk, we can see the shadows of Daichi in him.


6. Yuji Nishida soaring like Hinata


hinata jump
Image adapted from: Production I.G

Amongst the titan-like world of professional volleyball, Yuji Nishida is disadvantaged by his 1.86m build. But he makes up for the biological setback with a jumping power so strong that he looks like Hinata IRL.

yuji nishida spike
Image adapted from: KingPlayz

Here’s just one of his many impressive spikes, which happened during Japan’s match against Venezuela.


Tokyo Olympics volleyball moments like Haikyuu!!


These are just some of the many anime-like moments we saw at the Tokyo Olympics volleyball matches. Do check out the video compilation of these Haikyuu!! moments on our Facebook too!

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Cover image adapted from: Production I.G and Mediacorp

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