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

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Cook Follows Pottharst's Olympic Beach Volleyball Winning Ways
Athens, Greece, August 14, 2004 - Natalie Cook didn't let her former Australia gold medal partner Kerri Pottharst get the better of her during the opening women's Beach Volleyball pool play rounds here Saturday in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

After Pottharst and Summer Lochowicz won the first women's match of the 2004 Olympic Games by defeating a team from China Saturday morning, Cook and Nicole Sanderson posted a 21-16 and 21-12 win in 40 minutes over the Yanchulova sisters (Lina and Petia) of Bulgaria in the afternoon.

The Pool E win was Cook's seventh-straight in Olympic competition to tie the mark established earlier in the day by Pottharst as she and Lochowicz scored a 21-18 and 21-18 win over Tian Jia and Wang Fei of China in a 45-minute Pool F match.

The Cook and Pottharst Olympic streak includes their six match wins together, including bronze medal victory together at the 1996 Atlanta Games followed by five more wins enroute to their Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medal finish.

Cook and Sanderson return to action Monday noon against China's Lu Wang and Whenhui You, who dropped a 21-17 and 21-18 decision to Stephanie Pohl and Okka Rau of Germany in 46 minutes. Pottharst and Lochowicz' next match is also Monday at 10 p.m. against Vasso Karadassiou and Efi Sfyri of Greece.

In Saturday afternoon's opening women's match, Guylaine Dumont and Annie Martin scored a 21-16 and 21-13 win in 39 minutes over Nicole Schnyder and Simone Kuhn of Switzerland, the 2004 European Champions. "This was one of our better games against a quality opponent," said Martin after the match. We did a good job preparing for this game and we stuck to the plan."

Before playing Pottharst and Lochowicz Monday, Karadassiou and Sfyri will play Hilda Gaxiola and Mayra Garcia of Mexico at 10 p.m. tonight at Faliro Coastal Zone's Beach Volleyball Centre. The first women's match Saturday is a Pool D meeting between Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs of the United States against Susanne Glesnes and Kathrine Maaseide of Norway at 8 p.m.

Saturday's play is 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 24 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.

For more Beach Volleyball news visit www.fivb.org