Women's Olympic Games, Athens GREECE
From 14 August To 24 August 2004

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Beyond Australia, Brazil & United States
Athens, Greece, August 21, 2004 - The focus on the women's Beach Volleyball competition at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games has been on teams from Australia, Brazil and the United States, but don't forget about the three tandems from Canada, Germany and Italy could spoil a good "beach party" for those three countries.

With no titles and two "open final fours" to their credit, the teams of Guylaine Dumont/Annie Martin of Canada, Stephanie Pohl/Okka Rau of Germany and Daniela Gattelli/Lucila Perrotta of Italy have quietly advanced to the "elite eight" as they are one win away from reaching the semi-finals of the sports "biggest" event.

While the Canadians and Italians earned their quarter-finals berths Friday with upset wins over teams from Cuba and Germany, respectively, Pohl and Rau had the toughest opening match against a up-and-come team from host Greece.

Played before a sold out crowd of more than 9,000 fans at the Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre here Saturday, Pohl and Rau withstood the pressure from the Greeks and their thousands of fans to score a 21-12, 19-21 and 15-11 win in 62 minutes over Vasiliki Arvaniti and Efthalia Koutroumanidou.

Pohl and Rau was one of four teams advancing to the quarter-finals Saturday as two teams from the United States and Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil filled the other three spots. Top-seeded Misty May/Kerri Walsh and fourth-seeded Holly McPeak/Elaine Youngs will be the Americans in the quarter-finals.

Joining Dumont/Martin and Gattelli/Perrotta in the "elite eight" after advancing Friday were third-seeded Ana Paula Connelly/Sandra Pires from Brazil and fifth-seeded Natalie Cook/Nicola Sandersons from Australia.

Sunday's quarter-finals will have two afternoon matches for women and two at night, including Dumont and Martin challenging May and Walsh at 8 p.m. The first women's match will be the All-Brazilian match up featuring Ana Paula and Pires against Adriana and Shelda at 3:30 p.m. McPeak and Youngs play Pohl and Rau at 5:30 p.m. Sunday while Cook and Sanderson face Gattelli and Perrotta at 11 p.m.