Women's competition, Berlin
From 22 June To 26 June 2004

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Germany's Lahme & Müsch One Win Away From Smart Grand Slam "Final Four"
BERLIN, GERMANY, June 24, 2004 - According to Danja Müsch, "nothing could be better than winning Beach Volleyball matches against your German rivals before your home country fans in the biggest event to date this season" on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour.

After posting two three-set match wins Wednesday during the opening Main Draw rounds in the Smart Grand Slam, the ninth-seeded Müsch and Suzanne Lahme posted their second-straight win over a German rival in the US$600,000 event here Thursday.

After defeating eighth-seeded Okka Rau and Stephanie Pohl 19-21, 23-21 and 15-7 Wednesday afternoon, Lahme and Müsch scored a 21-14 and 21-13 over 17th-seeded Andrea Ahmann and Jana Vollmer Thursday. All three teams are competing for a possible two German spots in the Olympics with Rau and Pohl the leaders followed now closely by Lahme and Müsch.

The win advanced Lahme and Müsch to the final round of the winner's bracket where they will play 12th-seeded Dalixia Fernandez Grasset and Tamara Larrea Peraza of Cuba at approximately 1 p.m. Friday for the first spot in Saturday's semi-finals.

The second semi-final qualifying match will pit second-seeded Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil and third-seeded Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs of the United States at approximately 2 p.m. Friday. The losers of both those matches will still have a chance to advance to the "final four" with victories in the finals of the elimination bracket Friday afternoon.

"Due to this being a big event with the most points during this season's portion of the Olympic qualifying process, I think they had a lot more pressure on them," said Müsch, a 2000 Beach Volleyball Olympian. "After two tough matches yesterday against Brazil and our other German rivals, we felt more relaxed today. And, it is great to be playing only one match today."

With Rau and Pohl eliminated from the competition after losing to 23rd-seeded Efthalia Koutroumanidou and Vassiliki Arvaniti of Greece 18-21, 21-15 and 15-13, Lahme and Müsch has closed the gap between the two teams for Germany's possible two spots in the Olympic.

With a guaranteed fifth, Lahme and Müsch have now compiled 1,906 points for their best eight finishes on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour since the start of the Olympic qualifying process in January 2003. Rau and Pohl did not better their 2,058 point total and could be passed on the list if Lahme and Müsch place second or higher this weekend.

Ahmann and Vollmer will have to win the Smart Grand Slam to have a chance to catch the two front-running German women's on the qualification list for the 2004 Athens Games. With a guaranteed ninth this week, Ahmann and Vollmer have improved their Olympic total to 1,468 with two-plus events left in the process. Any match win Friday will improve their point total by 60 points.
Press releases
Date Press release
26-Jun-2004 Brazil's Adriana & Shelda Net Smart Grand Slam Gold
26-Jun-2004 Brasileñas Adriana y Shelda conquistan el oro del Smart Grand Slam
26-Jun-2004 Americans Snare Smart Grand Slam Bronze Medal
26-Jun-2004 Cubans Upset Americans for Smart Grand Slam Gold Medal Berth
26-Jun-2004 Las cubanas vencen a norteamericanas por vacante de medalla de oro en Smart Grand Slam
26-Jun-2004 Business As Usual For Brazilians
26-Jun-2004 "Negocio usual" para las brasileñas
25-Jun-2004 Germany & USA Teams Join Brazil & Cuba Tandems in Women's Semi-finals
25-Jun-2004 Brazilian Victory Nets 78th "Final Four" Berth
25-Jun-2004 Brasileñas alcanzan las semifinales por 78 vez
25-Jun-2004 Cubans Delay German Beach Volleyball Celebration
25-Jun-2004 Cubanas retrasan celebración alemana en Voleibol de Playa
25-Jun-2004 Alemania y EE UU se unen a Brasil y Cuba en la semifinal femenina
24-Jun-2004 Four Women's Teams Avoid Smart Grand Slam Elimination
24-Jun-2004 Germany's Lahme & Müsch One Win Away From Smart Grand Slam "Final Four"
24-Jun-2004 Alemanas Lahme y Müsch a un triunfo de semifinales en el Grand Slam Smart
23-Jun-2004 Host Germany Guaranteed Smart Grand Slam Fifth
23-Jun-2004 Anfitrionas de Alemania aseguran quinto lugar en el Gran Slam Smart Femenino
23-Jun-2004 Top German Women's Teams Post Schlossplatz Beach Volleyball Wins
22-Jun-2004 Norwegians Oust Brazilians & Spaniards for Main Draw Berths
22-Jun-2004 Germany's Schmidt Returns to International Beach Volleyball Competition
20-Jun-2004 USA's May & Walsh Lead World's Top Beach Volleyball Players into Berlin