Men's South Africa Open 2004
Cape Town, March 23-28

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Dreams Come True for Austrians on Camp Bays Beach
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA, March 26, 2004 - It is like a "dream come true" for Robert Nowotny and Peter Gartmayer on the sand courts of Camps Bay here Friday as the Austrians continued to "surprise" the favourites in the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event.

After defeating the second-seeded team from Switzerland Friday morning, the 26th-seeded Nowotny and Gartmayer scored a 21-11 and 21-17 win over third-seeded Benjamin Insfran and Harley Marques of Brazil to advance to Saturday's semi-finals in the US$180,000 South Africa Open.

Nowotny and Gartmayer joined top-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil as the first two "final four" teams. Seeking their fourth-straight SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medal, Emanuel and Ricardo downed 12th-seeded Tande Ramos and Franco Neto in the All-Brazilian match.

"Again, the pressure is more on our opponents as we are nobodys," Nowotny stated after his team's six-straight win in the event, including two during the Qualification Tournament. "We have never advanced this far against the top teams in the world. I don't think they take us seriously when warming up," Gartmayer added.

After failing to qualify for their last four international starts, Nowotny and Gartmayer's best previous finish on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour was a 13th in 2001 at Mallorca. The Austrians opened play Friday with a 15-21, 21-15 and 15-9 win over Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel of Switzerland.

With each win in the 32-team, double-elimination Main Draw, Nowotny and Gartmayer improve their position for a possible berth in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. The Austrians now erase an 18-point finish from their Olympic slate and now added at least 252 points to their total.

Play continues Saturday with six matches, including the semi-finals to determine the pairings for Sunday's medal matches. The gold medal match is set for Sunday where the winning team will split the $27,000 first-place prize.

Saturday's schedule opens with a pair of elimination matches with the two winners facing the Tande/Franco and Benjamin/Harley for the third and fourth spots in the semi-finals. The eighth-seeded Laciga brothers (Martin and Paul) play 18th-seeded Javier Bosma and Pablo Herrera with the winner playing Benjam and Harley. Tande and Franco play the winner of the match between Heuscher/Kobel and Christoph Dieckmann/Andreas Scheuerpflug of Germany.