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Beach volleyball: China's top women duo wins group, men's title defenders unbeaten
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09:40, August 14, 2008

China's beach volleyball duo Tian Jia/Wang Jie finished first in women's Group A on Wednesday by scoring their third preliminary win at the Beijing Olympic Games, as men's defending champions s Ricardo Santos/Emanuel Rego from Brazil remained unbeaten.

Tian/Wang won 2-1 over Norwegian pair Kathrine Maaseide/Susanne Glesnes, which had booked a berth in top 16 as they had two victories.

The win was not comfortable for the Chinese, who had to come from behind after the loss of the first set (17-21). They outscored the rivals in the next two sets (21-14, 15-8).

"We didn't play well. We tried to take as many points as possible when we were in a difficult position. We kept our will strong and kept fighting," said the 1.89-meter Wang after the match.

In men's Group C, defending champions Ricardo Santos/Emanuel Rego claimed their third victory, winning over Andrew Schacht/Joshua Slack of Australia 2-0. The Austrians also advanced with two wins.

U.S. duo Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers, Beijing Olympics favorite, downed Argentina's Mariano Baracetti/Martin Conde 2-0 (21-12, 21-13) in a Group B match, adding a victory to their last win over Swiss pair Patrick Heuscher/Sascha Heyer.

The U.S. pair, who lost the first match to relatively unknown Lativan duo Martins Plavins/Aleksandrs Samoilovs, had to advance as the second-placed in group. Plavins/Samoilovs finished first with two wins, one of which was over the U.S. duo.

The Netherlands' Reinder Nummerdor/Richard Schuil finished first in men's Group E as the duo has won all three matches. Martin Laciga/Jan Schnider of Switzerland also advanced with two victories.

In women's part, Ana Paula/Larissa finished second in Group C as the combination of Natalie Cook, Sydney Games gold medalist, and Tasmin Barnett, claimed three victories in the group.

In women's Group E, U.S. pair Nicole Branagh/Elaine Youngs claimed the first place after winning for the third time on Wednesday, followed by Stephanie Pohl/Okka Rau of Germany, who have had two wins. Branagh/Youngs outclassed Cuban pair Milagros Crespo/Imara Esteves Ribalta on Wednesday.

With preliminaries in some groups coming to the end, first teams were eliminated on Wednesday.

In men's section, Angola's Emanuel Fernandes/ Morais Abreu and Norway's Jorre Kjemperud/Tarjei Skarlund, both lost three times in their respective group, were out after the preliminaries.

In women's part, Simone Kuhn/Lea Schwer of Switzerland, Alexandra Shiryaeva/Natalya Uryadova of Russia and Rebekka Kadijk/Merel Mooren of the Netherlands had to leave the Beijing Games beach volleyball tournament before top 16 matches start.


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1 China 17 5 5 27
2 USA 10 8 11 29
3 South Korea 6 6 1 13
5 Germany 6 1 2 9
4 Italy 4 4 3 11
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