Sante Fe, Argentina, June 3, 2012 - Argentina booked a ticket to the women’s beach volleyball competition at the Olympics Games for the first time ever following a 3:1 victory over Uruguay in the CSV Continental Cup final in Santa Fe, Argentina on Sunday.
Argentina join Africa Continental Cup winners Mauritius as the only two countries to have qualified for the women’s tournament at the Olympic Games so far.
For Uruguay, they have the consolation of participating in the FIVB World Cup Olympic Qualification Tournament, which has on offer two more Olympic tickets.
After Saturday’s tight opening encounters which saw each country win a match apiece, Argentina’s Georgina Klug/Silvana Olivera earned a 2-0 (21-17, 21-14) win against Eugenia Nieto/Karina Cardozo in the battle of the number two pairs to put the hosts on the brink of Olympic qualification. Klug/Olivera had to come from behind after a good beginning from Nieto/Cardozo but once they did, they remained in control with aggressive defence and attack to pick up the vital win.
In an emotive second match in which there no seats left unoccupied, the host team of Ana Gallay/Virginia Zonta defeated Lucía Guigou/Fabiana Gómez in three incredible sets (21-19, 17-21, 15-13). The decisive tiebreak saw the play move point-by-point until Gallay earned two points with some superb serving to give Argentina the decisive break to win the set 15-13 to spark tremendous scenes of celebration.
“I’m really happy, I didn’t realise yet what we achieved, a place in the Olympic Games,” Zonta said. “We were very calm and tried to leave nerves aside to do our best. The serve was our key but as they received well, we prioritised the attack”.
“I am very proud of the team,” Olivera added. “We felt better than yesterday. I think we needed more rhythm of play because we were relaxed in trainings. Our aggressiveness and strength were key to victory despite we have to play more on the beach. Starting this discipline like this is the best way and being part of this Olympic qualification process is awesome.”
Saturday June 2 - ARG 1-1 URU
13:00 Klug/Olivera vs. Guigou/Gómez 0-2 (17-21, 17-21)
14:00 Gallay/Zonta vs. Cardozo/Nieto 2-0 (21-10, 21-12)
Sunday June 3 - ARG 3-1 URU
15:00 Klug/Olivera vs. Cardozo/Nieto 2-0 (21-17, 21-14)
16:30 Gallay/Zonta vs. Guigou/Gómez 2-1 (21-19, 17-21, 15-13)