Men's competition, Rio de Janeiro
From 21 September To 26 September 2004

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Germans Deny Possible Olympic Rematch
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 25, 2004 - With the Brazilian press waiting for a match between Athens 2004 Olympic medallists, Germany's Markus Dieckmann and Jonas Reckermann spoiled the plans here Saturday morning by upsetting top-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil in the semi-finals of the $360,000 Banco do Brasil Open.

After losing the first set 21-15 and trailing 12-8 in the second set, the fifth-seeded Dieckmann and Reckermann rallied to win 21-17 and 15-13 in the 52-minute Beach Volleyball match where the Germans now prepare for an All-European final against a team from Switzerland.

Entering Saturday's action it was thought that sixth-seeded Sascha Heyer and Markus Egger could deny the rematch between Emanuel and Ricardo against third-seeded Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel of Switzerland, who dropped a 21-14, 19-21 and 15-12 decision to the Brazilians in the Athens semi-finals.

"Any win at this stage of a tournament is big," Dieckmann noted after the match. "But, this win was huge for us as we defeated the Olympic champions before their home fans. This win is even more special since we had never beaten them on the Swatch Tour."

The Germans entered the match with a 0-6 mark against Emanuel and Ricardo, who had scored three wins this season over Dieckmann and Reckermann in Salvador, Brazil, Serbia and Montenegro, and Portugal. The Serbia and Montenegro win was in the gold medal match.

"We made some changes in the second set as I started blocking more to let Jonas put more effort into his serve," Dieckmann added. "Jonas service game was the difference at the end of the second set and we were able to side out well in the third set."

Like most teams entering the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour season finale, the Germans were "tired. It has been a long season and I think everyone was pretty exhausted from the Olympics. I think we had a good mindset as we figured this was our last event of the year and wanted to end the season on a high note," Dieckmann said.

After playing in three international finals in June, including winning the European Championships and netting a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medal in Berlin, Dieckmann and Reckermann struggled the rest of the way and placed ninth in the Olympics where they lost their last two matches to teams from Norway (pool play) and the United States (elimination bracket).

"We look forward to playing another All-European final Sunday," Dieckmann ended. After having only one All-European final between 1987-2003 (1994 in France) on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the 2004 season has now produced four (at the Switzerland, Germany and Mallorca stops).

A mixed gender stop, the Banco do Brasil Open's women's final Saturday is an All-Brazilian affair where top-seeded Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede play third-seeded Ana Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires for the gold medal. The men's medal matches are Sunday on Copacabana Beach.