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

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Veteran Maaseide Spoils Luster of Championship Rematch
Athens, Greece, August 17, 2004 - Leave it to veteran Bjorn Maaseide to ambush a good storyline for the media here Tuesday as he teamed with fellow Norwegian Iver Horrem to post a three-set victory over Dax Holdren and Stein Metzger of the United States in a Pool A match at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

The Americans end Pool A Thursday against Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil, the team that defeated Holdren and Metzger for the 2003 FIVB World Championship in Rio de Janeiro last October. The two teams play at 8 p.m. with the Brazilians leading 2-1 in the series.

Maaseide, who is retiring from the beach game after the Olympics, and Horrem scored a 14-21, 21-15 and 16-14 win in 61 minutes over Holdren and Metzger to deny the Americans a chance of clinching a spot in the 16-team elimination bracket.

"It was a great match," said Maaseide. "They played very well in the first half of the match and we came back. Either team had plenty of chances to win the match. They put a lot of pressure on us early, but we hung in their. I am glad that Iver was able to taste the thrill of victory in the Olympics."

Maasiede, who has his sister (Kathrine) competing in the women's bracket, is competing in his third Olympics after playing with Jan Kvalheim in 1996 and 2000. "I have had a good career," he added. "Now, if we can defeat the Aussies (Andrew Schacht and Joshua Slack) Thursday, I'll get another chance for a medal."

Emanuel and Ricardo, the winner of 11 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour the past two season, scored a 21-17 and 21-17 win over Schacht and Slack Tuesday for their second win in the Athens Games after defeating Maaseide and Horrem in three-sets Sunday.

The second- (Benjamin Insfran/Marcio Araujo, Brazil), fourth- (Markus Dieckmann/Jonas Reckermann, Germany) and fifth-seeded (Patrick Heuscher/Stefan Kobel, Switzerland) teams joined Emanuel and Ricardo by winning their opening two matches to lead their pools.

Heuscher and Kobel play Dain Blanton and Jeff Nygaard at 12 p.m. in a Pool E match while the 2004 European Champions Markus Dieckmann and Reckermann meeting Vegard Hoidalen and Jorre Kjemperud of Norway at 4:30 p.m. in a Pool D match. Benjamin and Marcio Araujo of Brazil end their Pool B competition at 10 p.m. Thursday against Christoph Dieckmann and Andreas Scheuerpflug of Germany.

Javier Bosma and Pablo Herrera of Spain scored 21-19, 17-21 and 15-9 win over the third-seeded Laciga brothers (Martin and Paul) of Switzerland to take the lead in Pool C. Seventh-seeded Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde of Argentina emerged as the leader in Pool F.

The 2001 FIVB World Champions, Baracetti and Conde play Greece's Thanassis Michalopoulos and Pavlos Beligratis of Greece at 9 p.m. Wednesday. The Spaniards end round-robin play Thursday at 10 a.m. against Austrians Peter Gartmayer and Robert Nowotny.

The Round of 16 elimination matches for the men will be played Friday and Saturday. Quarterfinals are set for Sunday with the semi-finals being played next Monday to decide the medal match line up for August 25.