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Australia's Cook in last eight in Beijing Olympics beach volleyball
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14:41, August 15, 2008

Natalie Cook, 2000 Sydney Games beach volleyball gold medalist, was in top eight of women's beach volleyball tournament at the Beijing Olympics.

She paired with Tasmin Barnet to beat Efthalia Koutroumanidou/Maria Tsiartsiani of Greece in a round of 16 match in Beijing Olympics beach volleyball tournament on Friday.

The Australian pair had to play three matches before securing the top eight berth. The sets went 22-20, 19-21 and 15-12 in favor of the Australians.

"In elimination round there was always pressure," Barnett said after the match about the loss of the second set.

The Australian pair is to play on Sunday their quarterfinal match.

Cook, a four-time Olympian, has said he wanted to get a medal, maybe a gold, at the Beijing Games.

"I have a new partner this time. We are in good shape. We're here to win," said the 33-year-old player before the Olympics started.

In Athens, Cook, who paired with Nicole Sanderson, lost the bronze medal match to Americans Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs, and the gold medal was taken away by U.S. tandem Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh.

Cook is the only men's or women's player to advance to the Olympic medal matches in each of the previous three Olympic Games in Atlanta, Sydney and Athens.

In Atlanta, where beach volleyball made its Olympic debut, Cook captured the bronze medal.

Source:Xinhua

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