Three-time champions Cuba upset on opening day
Greece, August 14, 2004 – World number 10 Germany caused
the first big upset of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games
women’s Volleyball competition when they came from two
sets down to beat three-time gold medalists Cuba 3-2
(20-25, 24-26, 25-22, 25-15, 17-15) at the Peace and
Friendship Stadium on the opening day on Saturday.
Cuba, who are ranked five in the world, have the won the
gold medal at the last three Olympic Games but in Athens
they have a young team looking to emulate the feats of
After claiming the first two sets, the Central Americans
saw Germany, who have finished sixth and eighth at the
last two Olympic Games, climb on the back of some
excellent crowd support to claw their way back into the
match before sealing the five-set thriller in the
tiebreaker. Pic: Tanja Hart is ecstatic with
"We underestimated Germany's potential,” Cuba coach Luis
Felipe Calderon said. “We started the game very well,
but then we were confused with how Germany played. I
think it is very important to maintain rhythm, but we
lost ours and Germany won."
"We were an outsider,” German coach Hee Wan Lee said.
“But we managed to have a great match and we are very
satisfied. We are well prepared for the Olympics and we
came here to show the world that we deserve to be here."
In the final match on the first day China beat world
number one USA in a thrilling four set match, despite
losing their key 1.97cm player Ruirui Zhao when she
aggravated a calf injury, which she originally suffered
earlier in the year. The 22-year-old Zhao was making her
comeback at this tournament but limped off the court
after only two points. However, that didn’t disrupt
China’s game and the world number three claimed a gritty
25-21, 23-25, 25-22, 25-18.
Other results on the first day saw Russia beat the
Dominican Republic in straight sets 25-17, 25-13, 25-16,
Brazil beat Japan 25-21, 25-22, 25-21, world champions
Italy dismiss Korea 25-17, 25-13, 25-19 while hosts
Greece opened their campaign with a 25-7 25-22 25-14 win
The women’s competition continues on Monday but Sunday
sees the beginning of the men’s competition with Serbia
and Montenegro starting the day against Poland at 9:00.
The other men’s matches see the Netherlands play Russia,
Argentina play France, Brazil take on Australia and
hosts Greece entertain Tunisia before Italy play USA.
overcome Zhao injury to beat USA
Greece, August 14, 2004 – In the final match on
the first day of the women's competition China beat USA
in a thrilling four set match, despite losing their key
1.97cm player Zhao when she aggravated a calf injury,
which she originally suffered earlier in the year.
Photos Pic: Lina Wang in full flight going on
to score 12 points
proves quality over Korea
Greece, August 14, 2004 – An unstoppable Italian
team celebrated its first victory in Pool A of the
Athens Olympic Volleyball tournament, beating Korea in
straight sets (3-0: 25-17, 25-13, 25-19) at the Peace
and Friendship Stadium.
Photos Pic: Jenny Barazza, who scored eight
points in the match, was one of Italy's best on attack
makes successful Olympic debut
Greece, August 14, 2004 – Greece made its
Olympic debut with an easy straight-sets victory 25-7,
25-22, 25-14 over Pool A opponent Kenya at the Peace and
Photos Pic: Great local support for Greece
Brazil defeats Japan in opener
Greece, August 14, 2004 – Brazil continued their
excellent form from the 2004 World Grand Prix
where they claimed their fourth title earlier
this month with a straight sets 25-21, 25-22,
25-21 defeat of Japan at the Peace and
Friendship Stadium in their Pool A match.
Photos Pic: Brazil celebrate their
Russia shows supremacy with straight-sets
Greece, August 14, 2004 – Russia sail to an easy
3-0 straight-sets victory (25-17, 25-13, 25-16)
over Dominician Republic in Pool A at the Peace
and Friendship Stadium.
Photos Pic: Milagros Cabral Dela Cruz
tries to beat the Russian block of Marina
Sheshenina (12), Ekaterina Gamova (11) and
Lioubov Shashkova (5).
Germany upsets defending champions in
Greece, August 14, 2004 – The opening match of
the Athens Volleyball Olympic tournament offered
excitement and thrilling emotions as Germany
beat reigning Olympic champions Cuba 3-2 (20-25,
24-26, 25-22, 25-15, 17-15) at the Peace and
Photos Pic: Daimi Ramirez Echevarria of Cuba spikes as
Germany's Atika Bouagaa (right) and Olessya