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Exciting finish for Women’s Youth Olympic pool play competition

Selin Yurtsever (left) and Esra Betul Cetin celebrate Pool C success as the Turkish pair seeks to better tandems from Chinese Taipei, Saint Lucia and Uruguay for the group title.

Nanjing, China, August 20, 2014 - While each of the men’s pool play groups having at least one unbeaten pair, the women’s Beach Volleyball competition at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games features one cluster of nations where four teams are tied atop standings with 2-1 records.

Pool C is the most competitive pool play group in the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games where pairs from Uruguay, Chinese Taipei, Turkey and Saint Lucia have each won two of three matches entering Wednesday’s “rest” day from the Beach Volleyball competition.

Four women’s pools have one team leading the way with Canada (A), Paraguay (D), Germany (E) and Russia (F) atop the standings with 3-0 records.  Brazil and Switzerland are the Pool B leaders with unbeaten marks after pool play matches Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  The two teams meet Thursday when pool play resumes at the Beach Volleyball venue in the Nanjing Sports Park Complex.

With 20 of the 36 teams in the competition boasting above .500 records, the winners of each group will secure a first-round “bye” when single-elimination play begins Sunday.  The top two second-place teams from pool play will also net a “bye” for bracket play.  Here is the breakdown for the women’s competition.

Pool A - The McNamara twins (Megan and Nicole) of Canada lead the pool with a 3-0 record and conclude play against a 1-2 Kazakhstan pair Thursday and a 2-1 Italian tandem Friday.  Irene Enzo and Michele Lantignotti of Italy play 2-1 Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka of Latvia Thursday.  The Latvians lost to the McNamaras Tuesday in three-sets.

Pool B - Eduarda Lisboa and Ana Patricia Silva of Brazil meet Dunja Gerson and Esther Rohrer of Switzerland Thursday for the leadership of the group.  While the Brazilians will earn a fourth win Friday via a forfeit from Sierra Leone, the Swiss will play the 2-1 Czech Republic team of Kristyna Adamcikova/Katerina Valkova on the final day of group competition.

Pool C - It is a tossup entering the final two days of group play with Chinese Taipei (Tzu-Yi Pan/Yu-Rong Song) and Uruguay (Lia Fortunati/Maria Rotti) guaranteed a third win via forfeits from Nigeria on Thursday and Friday, respectively.  While Uruguay can clinch a share of the pool title by defeating 1-2 Tuvalu Thursday, Chinese Taipei must defeat 2-1 Skye Mondesir and Dala Noel of Saint Lucia Friday.  Esra Cetin and Selina Yurtsever of Turkey can finish atop the standings with wins Thursday over Saint Lucia and Friday over Tuvalu.  Mondesir and Noel have the toughest route to reaching 4-1 by playing Turkey and Chinese Taipei in their final two matches.

Pool D - Erika Bobadilla and Michelle Valiente of Paraguay close pool play against a 0-3 Guatemala team Thursday before being challenged by 2-1 Austrians Mona Gesslbauer/Julia Radl.  Bobadilla and Valiente have already defeated the other two 2-1 teams from France (Sirinuch Kawfong/Saowaros Tangkaeo) and Thailand (Sirinuch Kawfong/Saowaros Tangkaeo).  The Thai end their pool schedule against Austria Thursday and France Friday.  The French play a 0-3 Ghana team Thursday.

Pool E - Undefeated Lisa Arnholdt and Sarah Schneider end group action against two teams with a combined YOG mark of 1-5 as the Germans meet the Congo (1-2) Thursday and China (0-3) on Friday. The teams of Fernanda Maida/Melanie Vargas of Bolivia and Riski Dwi Andriani/Nanda Ragillia of Indonesia are both 2-1 and play each other Thursday.  The South Americans conclude pool play Friday against 1-2 Trinidad and Tobago while the Southeast Asians meet the Congo.

Pool F - Like Germany, the Russian unbeaten pair of Nadezda Makroguzova and Daria Rudykh have already defeated the two teams in the group with 2-1 records.  Makroguzova and Rudykh end pool play against 1-2 Rwanda and 0-3 Vanuatu.  Lina Colon and Valeria Cajigas of Puerto Rico play Camila Hiruela and Irene Varasio of Argentina Thursday in a meeting of 2-1 pairs.  Puerto Rico ends play Friday against 1-2 Australia with the Argentines meeting Rwanda.

After the completion of group play for the men and women participants Friday, the top four teams from each group advance to the single-elimination bracket rounds starting next Sunday.  The bracket schedule will be determined Saturday morning when the drawing of positions will be held at the Nanjing Sports Park Complex.

The women’s semi-final and medal matches will be played Tuesday followed by the men’s “final four” matches the next day at the 2,000-seat Beach Volleyball venue.  More than 3,300 tons of sand was used to build the four competition and two warm-up courts at the Beach Volleyball venue at the Nanjing Sports Park Complex.  The sand is from Hainan Island in southeastern China, the same place where the materials came from to build the courts at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

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