Women's Olympic Games, Athens GREECE
From 14 August To 24 August 2004

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Women's Athens 2004 Olympic Beach Volleyball Field Set
Athens, Greece, August 12, 2004 - The women's field for the Olympic Beach Volleyball competition for the Athens 2004 Games is set with the players and their support staff participating in a Friday technical meeting before beginning play here Saturday.

Pool play will be featured the first six days of competition to determine the field for the 16-team single-elimination bracket. The women's gold medal match is set for August 24 at the 10,000-seat facility within the Faliro Coastal Zone Olympic Complex.

The only other "health" question for the third Olympic Beach Volleyball competition was the status of Misty May from the United States. Winner of three SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events this season with Kerri Walsh, May participated in Thursday's preliminary inquiry with her partner and the other American women's team of Holly McPeak/Elaine Youngs.

May has been hampered by an abdominal strain this season and missed three international events in Norway, France and Austria where Walsh teamed with Rachel Wacholder to capture two titles and a bronze medal. May and Walsh won titles in Brazil, Greece and Switzerland.

"I am feeling great and really anxious to get back to playing with Kerri," said May, who teamed with Holly McPeak to place fifth in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. "Kerri has really helped me through this process the past month and we are eager to start playing."

May and Walsh are seeded first in the 24-team women's competition and will play their first match Sunday against Chiaki Kusuhara and Ryo Tokuno of Japan at 8 p.m. Sunday will also mark Walsh's 26th birthday as May turn 27 July 30.

Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst, the Sydney 2000 women's gold medallists, will be competing at the Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre, but with different partners. Cook secured Australia's No. 1 spot with Nicole Sanderson while Pottharst will be playing with Summer Lochowicz.

Cook, who also won the bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games with Pottharst, is seeded fifth in the competition with Sanderson. Pottharst and Lochowicz are 18th and will be competing in Pool F with Vasso Karadassiou and Efi Sfyri of Greece.

Also in the women's field are Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil, the 1999 and 2001 FIVB World Champions and silver medallists at the Sydney Games. Sandra Pires returns for her third Olympics with new Brazilian partner Ana Paula Connelly. Pires captured the gold medal in Atlanta with Jackie Silva and a bronze podium spot in Sydney with Adriana Samuel.

Adriana and Shelda, who dropped the 2003 FIVB World Championship title match to May and Walsh last October in Rio de Janeiro, are seeded second followed by Ana Paula and Pires, who have played in four events this season due to injuries.

McPeak and Youngs have won twice this season on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour as has Adriana and Shelda. The Americans captured gold medals in China and Norway while Adriana and Shelda netted titles in Japan and Germany.

1996 Atlanta Olympic Games

Gold Medal - Sandra Pires/Jackie Silva, Brazil def. Monica Rodrigues/Adriana Samuel, Brazil, 12-11 and 12-6 (69 minutes)
Bronze Medal - Natalie Cook/Kerri Pottharst, Australia def. Barbra Fontana/Linda Hanley, USA, 12-11 and 12-7 (111)

Sydney 2000 Olympic Games

Gold Medal - Natalie Cook/Kerri Pottharst, Australia def. Shelda Bede/Adriana Behar, Brazil, 12-11 and 12-10 (75)
Bronze Medal - Sandra PiresAdriana Samuel, Brazil def. Mika Saiki/Yukiko Takahashi, Japan, 12-4 and 12-6 (53)