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Brazilian beach volleyball medal hopeful says to "focus on sport"
16:15, August 07, 2008

Brazilian beach volleyballer Marcio Araujo, a medal hopeful, said Thursday he would focus on sport rather than eyeing for a medal.

"I come to Beijing for sports. We just focus on playing games. Of course we'll also try to get a good position," Araujo told Xinhua after training at the Chaoyang Park beach volleyball ground.

Araujo and Fabio Magalhaes, placed fourth on the Olympic qualification standing, are believed to be potential medal winners at the Beijing Games.

They were winners of 11 FIVB World Tour events and gold medallists at the 2005 FIVB World Championships.

Araujo, 34, was named FIVB World Tour best setter in 2007, best defensive player in 2005, and the 2.04-meter Magalhaes was FIVB best blocker in 2005 and most improved player that year.

To the withdrawal of his compatriot Juliana Felisberta from the Beijing Olympics, Araujo said: "This is very bad news."

Silva, teamed with Larissa Franca, is the No. 3 team in the world. She decided Wednesday to pull out of the Olympics because of a knee injury. Connely Ana Paula will replace her, Brazil's Volleyball Confederation announced on Wednesday.

Franca and Paula will also present good performance at the Beijing Olympics, Araujo said.

Brazil, along with the United States, has a long history of developing the sport of beach volleyball, and their players are always favorites for medals at the Olympics.

Brazilian women have grabbed a gold, three silvers and a bronze since beach volleyball was introduced in the Olympics in 1996, and Brazilian men have captured one gold and one silver.


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