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Knockout stages next for Puerto Ricans in their quest to spread the word of beach volleyball

Puerto Rico's Dariam Acevedo (left) and Yarleen Santiago are into to the elimination rounds at the Visa FIVB Beach Volleyball International

London, Great Britain, August 11, 2011 – If success is the best publicity for a sport, then Dariam Acevedo and Yarleen Santiago are using their success at the Visa FIVB Beach Volleyball International as a way of spreading the word of beach volleyball in their home of Puerto Rico.

The duo have already made headlines in the Caribbean Island with their exploits on Horse Guards Parade and they are hopeful that more people on the island will be inspired to take up the sport, now that they have reached the knock out rounds as one of two best third place finishers.

“We’ve made quite a few appearances in the papers back home, but we want that just to help the sport grow and so that people say ‘hey look, those girls are having great fun’ and also that it is a great way to get to the Olympic Games” Acevedo said.

“It is a chance to come out here, play against other people and win. So making it
here and getting good results and getting people to say, ‘hey this is fun’, and get people out because we have great weather and great beaches.”

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Basketball, baseball and boxing are the three traditionally favoured sports in Puerto Rico, but Acevedo hopes that reaching the London 2012 Olympic Games will help another sport that begins with B bring attention to the island of 3.9 million.

Acevedo and Santiago lost to China’s Fan Wang and Yuanyuan Ma in their opening match and then slipped to defeat to Britain’s Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin. However, a win over Taliqua Clancy and Karley Hynes put them into the round of 16.

“We have our pre-Olympic qualifiers, so we are looking forward to that in March next year,” Acevedo said. “So we have another chance to make it if we don’t make it through the FIVB rankings.

“It looks a long way away, but it is a new window for us as we don’t have the resources to make the tour like everyone else does.”

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