Women's competition, Rhodes
From 19 May To 23 May 2004

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Greek tragedy fails to dampen spirits
Rhodes, Greece, May 19, 2004 - Despite seeing as many as four Greek teams fall by the wayside in afternoon and evening qualification action at the the 2004 Hellas Open on Wednesday, local spirits remained high around the Rhodes Beach Volleyball courts. Indeed, as day one of this Swatch - FIVB World Tour event drew to a close under the bright lights of centre court, the party atmosphere that had existed at the beginning of the day's play continued to pervade throughout as the fans streamed into the streets of this historical island.

Team Kouloumeda-Exindaveloni, who had earlier enjoyed a bye past the country quota qualifiers were among the Greek sides to lose out in the main qualifying draw when they were beaten by Venezuelen team Garcia-Abreu. There was similar ill fortune for Chounta-Kitsou who lost out to Swiss duo Kilchenmann-Schwer while Kostami-Kostami suffered at the hands of Italians Cicola-Lunardi. Greek suffering was complete with the defeat of Petridou-Lunardi who were ousted by Swedes Lundqvist and Uddstahl.

Elsewhere, Sanna Keizer and Merel Mooren of the Netherlands produced a powerhouse display as they ousted Spanish side Clara Lozano and Nadia Campisi in straight while there was also joy for Chinese team Xue-Ren who dumped Czechs Klapova-Petrova out of the competition. With Sweden's Andersson and Tvede also making it through, competition for progress will no doubt be fierce when the first round gets underway on Friday.

Before that, though, there is another day's qualification to come on this, the fourth largest Greek island. There may be no teams from Greece present in Thursday's qualifiers, however, with three teams scheduled to compete in the first round proper (Vasso Karadassiou-Efi Sfyri, Vicky Arvaniti-Thalia Koutroumanidou and Katerina Nikolaidou-Maria Tsiartsiani) there is still plenty of optimism in Rhodes for Greek representaion on the podium.