Women's competition, Klagenfurt
From 28 July To 31 July 2004

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Norway & Bulgaria Olympic Tandems Advance to A1 Grand Slam Main Draw
KLAGENFURT, AUSTRIA, July 28, 2004 - Two of the three teams set to compete in the Beach Volleyball competition at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games won their final qualifying matches here Wednesday to advance to the women's Main Draw in the US$540,000 A1 Grand Slam, presented by Nokia.

Second-seeded Nila Ann Hakedal and Ingrid Torlen of Norway and the fifth-seeded Yanchulova sisters (Lina and Petia) of Bulgaria defeated teams from Austria and South Africa to earn a spot in the 32-team Main Draw that starts Thursday.

Hakedal and Torlen advanced to the "money" rounds with a 21-17, 18-21 and 15-11 with over 20th-seeded Chrisi Gschweidl and Sabine Swoboda of Austria. Norway will have two women's and two men's teams in the Olympics, including Susanne Glesnes and Kathrine Maaseide, who earned a women's Main Draw berth for the A1 Grand Slam.

The Yanchulova's 21-15, 18-21 and 15-9 win was over 13th-seeded Leigh-Ann Naidoo and Julia Willand of South Africa, who qualified as their continent's representative in the Beach Volleyball competition in Athens. The South Africans had opened play Wednesday by eliminating 23rd-seeded Karin Lundquist and Sara Uddstahl of Sweden 21-12 and 21-18.

Also qualifying for the Main Draw Wednesday were top-seeded Renata Ribeiro and Shaylyn Bede of Brazil, third-seeded Carrie Busch and Nancy Mason from the United States, seventh-seeded Katerina Nikolaidou and Maria Tsiartsiani of Greece, eighth-seeded Laura Bruschini and Annamaria Solazzi of Italy, 10th-seeded Helke Classen and Martina Stoof of Germany and 14th-seeded Marie-Andree Lessard and Sarah Maxwell of Canada.

Prior to advancing to the Main Draw with a win over a team from Switzerland, Ribeiro and Shaylyn had to survive a Brazilian country quota match by scoring a 19-21, 21-12 and 15-10 win over sixth-seeded Alexandra Fonseca and Monica Rodrigues, who captured the silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games with Adriana Samuel.

The A1 Grand Slam is the 10th of 12 events for women this season on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour. The fourth A1 Grand Slam concludes Sunday when the winning team shares $41,000 for the first-place prize.