Women Olympic Games 2004
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Day 3
18 August
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Brazil repeat Grand Prix triumph to go clear in Pool A
Athens, Greece, August 18, 2004 – World Grand Prix champions Brazil followed in the footsteps of their men’s team and repeated their victory in August’s Grand Prix final by beating Italy on Wednesday in an exhilarating come-from-behind five set (19-25, 25-13, 22-25, 25-16, 15-13) win in the final match of Day Three of the women’s Volleyball competition at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Wednesday.
After yesterday’s marathon men’s match the women turned on a similar display with an action-packed affair stretching nearly two hours, much to the enjoyment of the fans coated in yellow, green and blue.
The win leaves Brazil as the only unbeaten side in Pool A with Italy and Korea just behind with one defeat followed by Greece and Japan with two defeats and Kenya, who are yet to record a win. Korea beat Kenya 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-19) and Japan beat Greece 3-1 (25-10, 20-25, 25-21, 25-22) in the other Pool A matches on the day.
Earlier, silver medalists from Sydney, Russia jumped to the top of Pool B on Set Ratio difference after an efficient straight sets (31-29, 25-11, 25-18) win over Germany.
"The Russian team were great tonight,” German coach Hee Wan Lee said. “They presented a high level of play in their game and after the first set, things got very difficult. We tried our best but congratulations have to go to the Russian team."
Russia, with two wins and one loss, are equal with China and Cuba who fought out an exhilarating five set affair, Cuba’s third straight five-set match of the tournament, which eventually fell to the Central Americans 3-2 (25-19, 22-25, 15-25, 25-21, 15-13).
"It was a very good game for us, but very hard,” Cuba’s Zoila Barros Fernandez said. “Both teams played well but our power of concentration in the end was the difference.”
Meanwhile, world number one USA suffered their second defeat in three games after losing the opening match of the day to their Norceca neighbours the Dominican Republic in five thrilling sets (26-24, 22-25, 27-25, 23-25, 19-17).
"We won because we fought for every point, regardless of the score,” the Dominican Republic’s Kenia Moreta Perez said. “I am satisfied for two reasons. On the one hand, it is our first win in our Olympic Games history, and on the other hand, because we beat one of the best teams in this tournament."
USA, Germany and the Dominican Republic are all equal with one victory in Pool B.
The third day of the men’s competition resumes on Thursday with Italy playing Australia at 09:00. The other men’s matches see the Netherlands play Brazil, Poland take on France, Serbia and Montenegro play Tunisia, Greece host Argentina and Russia take on USA.

Two derbys feature on Day Three
ATHENS, 17 August - Day Three of the Women's Olympic tournament offers two great match-ups and a crucial fight for a place in the quarterfinals.

At 09:00 the United States are the heavy favourite in the match against the Dominican Republic. The US are looking for a good placing in Pool B, while the Dominicans are still searching for their first set.

Korea need a win against Kenya at 11:00 to secure a spot in the quarterfinals. Kenya remain at the bottom of Pool A with no match, nor set won.

The head-to-head between reigning Olympic champions Cuba and world number three China takes place at 14:00. The latter is the only team to stand unbeaten at the top of Pool B, while Cuba is coming off a thrilling win over Russia.

At 16:00 Japan and Greece face each other in a must win match for both teams. Greece lost their last match against Korea while Japan sit at two losses from two matches. The Japanese have not won a single set in the tournament so far, and their only hopes lie in beating Greece and Kenya to earn a place in the quarterfinals. The hosts already beat Kenya and a win over Japan will probably give them the right to celebrate a spot among the top eight.

Russia takes on Germany at 19:30. Both teams proved they are in good shape, but Germany's excellent performances in Pool B continue to surprise.

Brazil and Italy are believed to belong among top-favourites for the gold medal and they face of at 21:30 in a repeat of this year’s World Grand Prix final which Brazil won. The winner will stand alone on top of Pool A.
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