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Chinese beach volley duo makes top 16, U.S. favorites bounce back
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09:36, August 12, 2008

On the third day of beach volleyball preliminaries on Monday, Chinese women pair Tian Jia/Wang Jie clinched a berth in top 16 as U.S. favorite Rogers/Dalhausser bounced back from the loss to a Latvian pair in the last match.

Tian/Wang scored their second preliminary win in women's Group A, edging past Belgian pair van Breedam/Mouha 2-1. The Chinese duo beat Swiss pair Kuhn/Schwer in their first preliminary.

Maaseide/Glesnes of Norway, in the same group of Tian/Wang, also net two wins, booking a place in top 16.

"At some time we didn't play to our normal standard, but I'm happy with the result," said the 24-year-old Wang after the match.

In Group C, 2000 Sydney Games champions Natalie Cook and her new partner Tasmin Barnett whipped Georgian pair Santanna/Martins in two straight wins 21-18 and 21-12. In another match in the group, Anna Paula/Larissa of Brazil won over Russian duo Shiryaeva/Uryadova 2-1.

In women's Group E, Branagh/Youngs of the United States outclassed Germany's Pohl/Rau 2-0 while Cuban pair Ribalta/Crespo also defeated their rivals, Kadijk/Mooren of the Netherlands.

In men's section, U.S. pair Rogers/Dalhausser, widely considered to be Beijing Olympics favorite, gained their first Olympic victory in a Group B match after losing to the relatively unknown Latvian duo Samoilovs/Plavins in their first preliminary on Aug. 9.

They beat Heyer/Heuscher of Switzerland in two straight sets (21-15, 21-10), giving the rivals little resistance.

Heyer said after the match that he still didn't know what were the solutions to the attacks, defense and serves of the 2.06-meter Dalhausser.

Also in Group B, Argentina's Conde/Baracetti beat Samoilovs/Plavins of Latvia 2-0.

In Group C, defending champions, Brazil's Ricardo/Emanuel defeated Georgian duo Gomes/Terceiro in a match in which the rivals also caused big problems to the Athens Games gold medalists. In another match in the group, Schacht/Slack of Austria thrashed Fernandes/Morais of Angola.

Both Ricardo/Emanuel and Schacht/Slack, each with two wins, advanced to top 16.

In Group E, Nummerdor/Schuil of the Netherlands bounced back from the loss of the first set, beating Kjemperud/Skarlund of Norway 2-1, while German duo Klemperer/Koreng lost to Swiss tandem Laciga/Schnider


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