Men's Olympic Games, Athens GREECE
From 14 August To 25 August 2004

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Emanuel & Ricardo Cruise Into Olympic Semi-finals
Athens, Greece, August 22, 2004 - Playing probably their best Beach Volleyball of the season, Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos are again proving that they are the world's best men's team as the Brazilians advanced to the semi-finals of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games by eliminating the third-seeded Laciga brothers of Switzerland.

Seeded first in the 24-team competition, Emanuel and Ricardo scored a 21-13 and 21-16 win in 38 minutes over the Lacigas (Martin and Paul). It was the second-straight day the Lacigas had to play a Brazilian opponent as the brothers eliminated second-seeded Benjamin Insfran and Marcio Araujo Saturday.

With the victory, Emanuel and Ricardo now play fifth-seeded Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel of Switzerland at 10 p.m. Monday. Julien Prosser and Mark Williams challenge Javier Bosma and Pablo Herrera of Spain at 9 p.m. Monday.

"I feel extremely good," said Ricardo, who won the silver medal at the Sydney 2000 Games with Ze Marco de Melo. "Another Olympic semifinal is important for my career. We have to concentrate on our next Swiss opponent. Now it's a party, an Olympic party, which can end up in a gold medal party."

A winner of 47 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events, Emanuel will be looking for his first Olympic medal after placing ninth in the previous two Beach Olympics in Atlanta and Sydney. "Once again, I think this match against the Swiss brothers was successful because we had good energy," said Emanuel. "We felt comfortable playing against them. We had a good strategy. They played well, but we showed our power. The next match will be the hardest one, it's always hard in the semifinals of the Olympic Games."

Like Emanuel and Ricardo and the Spaniards, Heuscher and Kobel have now posted five-straight wins in Athens by scoring a 21-16 and 21-19 win over Dax Holdren and Stein Metzger of the United States in Sunday's opening match at the Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre.

Prosser, who is playing in his third Olympics, and Williams, a member of the Aussies 2000 Indoor Volleyball team in Sydney, advanced to the "final four" by posting a a 16-21, 21-19 and 15-10 win in 62 minutes over Christoph Dieckmann and Andreas Scheuerpflug of Germany.

Bosma, who has placed fifth in the past two Olympics with different partners, and Herrera advanced with a 22-24, 21-19 and 18-16 win in 67 minutes over Canada's John Child and Mark Heese, who won the Olympic bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Games and placed fifth in Sydney.

The women's Olympic semi-finals will also be played Monday. The women's medal matches are Tuesday and the men's gold and bronze matches are set for Wednesday evening at the 10,000-seat Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre.