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

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Pottharst Continues Olympic Beach Volleyball Winning Ways
Athens, Greece, August 14, 2004 - With a 21-18 and 21-18 win over Tian Jia and Wang Fei of China here Saturday morning, Australia's Kerri Pottharst continued her winning ways in Olympic Beach Volleyball competition with Summer Lochowicz.

With the win in 45 minutes over the Chinese, Pottharst extended her personal Olympic streak to seven as she won the previous six matches with Natalie Cook. The streak started with Pottharst and Cook's bronze medal win at the 1996 Atlanta Games followed by five more wins enroute to the Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medal.

"It's nice to get the first game out of the way," said Pottharst, who earned a trip with Lochowicz to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games by placing fourth in the final qualifying event in Mallorca last month. As for the streak, that is for you (the media). I am more concerned about our next match against the Greeks Monday."

Vasso Karadassiou and Efi Sfyri will played the Aussies Monday at 10 a.m., but first the Greece tandem plays Hilda Gaxiola and Mayra Garcia at 10 p.m. tonight at Faliro Coastal Zone's Beach Volleyball Centre during the opening matches of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

China also dropped Saturday's other first session women's match as Lu Wang and Whenhui You dropped a 21-17 and 21-18 win to Stephanie Pohl and Okka Rau of Germany in 46 minutes. "Like everyone, it is a relief to get the first Olympic match behind you," said Pohl. "We are feeling pretty good about our play the last month."

Competing in Pool E, the Germans will play the Yanchulova sisters (Lina and Petia) of Bulgaria in their next match Monday at 11 a.m. The Yanchulovas open play Saturday afternoon against Cook and Nicole Sanderson at 4:30 p.m.

Saturday's other opening women's matches features Pool D where Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs of the United face Susanne Glesnes and Kathrine Maaseide of Norway at 8 p.m. Nicole Schnyder of Simone Kuhn of Switzerland faces Guylaine Martin and Annie Martin of Canada at 2:30 p.m.

Saturday's play was the first of six days of pool play where 16 of the 24 teams in the competition will advance to the elimination bracket. The women's medal matches are scheduled for August 25 where Cook and Pottharst are joined by Sandra Pires of Brazil in seeking a second Olympic gold medal. Pires, a bronze medallist at the Sydney 2000 Games, teamed with Jackie Silva to win the Atlanta 1996 Olympic crown.