Women's Olympic Games 2004
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Day 4
20 August
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Six teams confirmed for quarterfinals
Athens, Greece, August 20, 2004 – With one day remaining in the Preliminary Round of the 2004 Olympic Games women’s Volleyball competition six teams – China, Cuba, Brazil, Italy, Korea and Russia – have confirmed their places in the quarterfinal round after they all recorded victories on Friday.
Brazil’s straight sets (25-22, 25-22, 25-11) win over hosts Greece saw the World Grand Prix champions collect their fourth straight win in Pool A to confirm their favouritism for the next phase.
"It was a very easy match for us today,” Brazil’s Virna Diaz said. “We stayed concentrated from the beginning to the end because we could hear the audience supporting the Greek team. This was a point that kept our spirits high and helped us not to underestimate them. We do not know yet which team we will confront in the quarterfinals, but all that matters for us now is the next opponent - Korea. "
Meanwhile, Italy sit in second place behind Brazil after beating Kenya easily (25-17, 25-13, 25-14) to record their third win of the tournament while Korea also have three victories with their one defeat after winning their Asian contest with Japan 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-21).
In Pool B, China, Cuba and Russia sit on top of the group with only one defeat after they collected victories over Germany (25-18, 25-15, 25-16), the Dominican Republic (25-23, 25-17, 25-23) and the USA (20-25, 25-17, 20-25, 25-18, 15-11) respectively. The battle of the superpowers USA and Russia was the crunch clash of the day with Russia’s exhilarating five-set victory consigning world number one USA to a must win match against Cuba on Sunday.
With one day still remaining in the competition the door is still open for Greece or Japan in Pool A to make the quarterfinals. Japan are favourites to progress as both teams have one win and on the final day the Asian team play winless Kenya while Greece takes on world number four Italy.
In Pool B, USA, Germany and the Dominican Republic can all still claim the final qualifying spot. It is an interesting scenario with Germany and the Dominican Republic playing each other so pre-tournament favourites USA must beat Cuba in the last match of the day.
The fourth day of the men’s competition resumes on Saturday with Australia playing USA at 09:00. The other men’s matches see Italy play the Netherlands, Tunisia take on Poland, Argentina play Serbia and Montenegro, Greece host France and in the match of the day, Brazil take on Russia.

All eyes on USA-Russia match up
ATHENS, 20 August – With only two matches remaining in the Women's Preliminary Round the focus is on the final match on Friday where world number one USA needs to beat old foes Russia to maintain a strong hope of reaching the quarterfinals.
The Americans currently sit at the bottom of Pool B, equal with Germany and the Dominican Republic, needing a win from their remaining two matches – against Russia and Cuba – to keep alive their chances of reaching the next phase. With Germany and the Dominican Republic expected to lose their matches against China and Cuba respectively on Friday, one of them will have a chance to keep alive their quarterfinal hopes when they play each other on the final day – Sunday.
Two losses for the Americans and the pre-tournament favourites will be out.
In the first matches on Friday at 09:00 China will try to rebound from their narrow loss to Cuba. This time they go head-to-head with mighty Germany, who with a 1-2 record, still have a chance at the quarterfinals.
A battle of the Caribbean takes place at 11:00 with defending champions Cuba up against the Dominican Republic, who shocked the United States two days before. Cuba stand 2-1, while Dominican Republic 1-2.
Korea plays Japan at 14:00. Both teams are very close to securing a spot in the quarterfinals in Pool A with a Korean win sealing a spot to Korea and a defeat, giving Japan increased hope of qualifying themselves.
At 16:00 Greece will try for a good performance against heavy favourite Brazil. The latter are the only undefeated team in the tournament, while the hosts have a 1-2 win-loss record and no real hope of qualifying to the next stage.
Kenya will search for their first set-win against Italy at 19:30. Italy sit in second place, while Kenya is at the bottom of the Pool A table.
The United States and Russia match closes Day Four at 21:00 and brings back memories of the famous rivalry between the two sides.
ONS sk/eg