Three upsets on
opening day of men’s competition
Greece, August 15, 2004 – Poland, the Netherlands and
Argentina got their 2004 Olympic campaigns off to
excellent starts by recording victories over more
fancied opponents on the opening day of the men’s
Volleyball competition at the Peace and Friendship
Stadium on Sunday.
Saturday’s defeat of the defending women’s champions
Cuba by Germany, Poland afflicted the same result on the
men’s champions from Sydney, Serbia and Montenegro with
a polished 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-16) win in the first
match of the day. Pic: Poland celebrate beating
Serbia and Montenegro
Poland, ranked 10th in the world, overcame the 2004
World League bronze medalists who are ranked seven
places higher on the world rankings with a more
energetic game to make an excellent start in Pool A.
"It is very important that in the first match we beat
the Olympic champions,” Poland’s Dawid Murek said. “We
were very focused on the match, but we will not cheer
yet, because there are five more matches to come."
"They deserved to win today,” Serbia and Montenegro
captain Nikola Grbic said. “They were not intimidated by
us. We started well but our sets were not good.
Nevertheless, this is a long tournament and we will give
our best for the rest of the matches."
Argentina and Greece joined Poland at the top of Pool A
with straight sets victories over France (25-15, 25-23,
25-22) and Tunisia (25-20, 25-14, 25-17) respectively.
Argentina, ranked eighth in the world, overcame a
disrupted buildup to impressively dismiss France, who
are ranked four places higher in fourth.
Meanwhile the Netherlands shocked Sydney 2000 silver
medalists Russia with an exhilarating 3-2 (25-23, 19-25,
17-25, 27-25, 18-16) win to sit at the top of Pool B
alongside world champions Brazil, who dropped a set
against Australia before winning 3-1 (23-25, 25-19,
25-12, 25-21), and European champions Italy, who beat
USA by the same margin (25-21, 21-25, 25-17, 25-23).
"It was a dream start,” Netherlands coach Bert Goedkoop
said. “Russia is very good and wins nine out of 10
matches. Today the team gave their best and did
everything they had to do."
competition resumes on Monday with a Pool A match
between Brazil and Kenya starting proceedings at 09:00.
The other women’s matches see China play the Dominican
Republic in Pool B, Italy take on Japan and Greece host
Korea in two Pool A matches before USA play Germany and
Russia play Cuba in Pool B.
Italy beats USA in
15 August - An intense match between the second and
fifth ranked teams in the world saw Italy overcome
United States in four passionate sets, 3-1 (25-21,
21-25, 25-17, 25-23) at the Peace and Friendship
Photos Pic: Italy's Matej Cernic is blocked by
makes perfect start in Olympic debut
15 August - Greece celebrated their debut at the
Olympics with a comfortable straight-sets Pool A win
over Tunisia at the Peace and Friendship Stadium 3-0
(25-20, 25-14, 25-17).
Photos Pic: The Greek public came in full
support for the home team
hold on to overcome tough Australian performance
ATHENS, 15 August - Brazil had to fight harder than they
had predicted in order to overcome the obstacle of
Australia in four-sets 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 25-12, 25-21)
at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Sunday.
Photos Pic: Brazilian libero Sergio receives
Argentina sweeps France in third upset
15 August - Another pre-match favourite fell to an
outsider in the Olympic Volleyball competition at the
Peace and Friendship Stadium after world number eight
Argentina beat world number four France in straight sets
25-15, 25-23, 25-22 .
Photos Pic: Argentina's euphoria of winning
their first match
Russians in thriller
15 August - Atlanta champions the Netherlands upset
Russia 3-2 in a thrilling match decided by a tiebreaker
(25-23, 19-25, 17-25, 27-25, 18-16) on the opening day
of the men's Volleyball competition.
Photos Pic: FIVB President Dr. Rubén Acosta
(black shirt) congratulates the Prince of the
Netherlands Prince Willem-Alexander after the
Netherlands victory with FIVB General Manager Mr.
Jean-Pierre Seppey(left) and Malu Acosta
Defending champs suffer shock defeat at the hands of
15 August - Another reigning Olympic champion suffered
defeat as Poland outplayed 2000 champions Serbia &
Montenegro, 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-16) in the opening
match of the Men's Volleyball Olympic tournament at the
Peace and Friendship Stadium.
Photos Pic: Poland's Sebastian Swiderski
spikes past the defence of Serbia & Montenegro to go on
and top score in the match with 20 points