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U19 World Champions Continue Winning Ways

The next blockade for Brazilian champions Arthur Mariano and George Wanderley is "Gentle German Giant" Niklas Rudolf (pictured), who is listed at 208 cm (6'10").

Nanjing, China, August 17, 2014 - Led by reigning FIVB under-19 world champions Arthur Mariano and George Wanderley of Brazil, 18 nations posted opening pool play wins here Sunday in the inaugural Beach Volleyball competition for the Youth Olympics.

With their 2-0 (21-8, 21-12) Pool B victory in 28 minutes over Shavar Bryan and Rojey Hutchinson of Jamaica, the Brazilians now face a German team Monday that features the Nanjing 2014 Olympic Games tallest player - Niklas Rudolf, who is listed at 208 cm (6'10").

“We look forward to playing the Germans again,” said George Wanderley after Sunday’s match as the Brazilians improved their international match mark together this season to 2-0.  “We also met the Germans in the U19 world championships in Portugal.  So we have some history.  Rudolf is a big guy and we need to play our best to beat them.”

Arthur and George Wanderley scored a 2-0 (23-21, 21-17) in a 36-minute pool play match July 31 over Rudolf and Eric Stadie.  While the Brazilians advanced to the finals to defeat Illia Kovaliov and Oleh Plotnytskiy 2-1 (21-18, 21-23, 15-11) in the 49-minute gold medal match, the Germans placed ninth after being eliminated by Arnaud Gauthier-Rat and Arnaud Loiseau of France.

Kovaliov and Plotnytskiy (Pool D) did not play during Sunday’s opening rounds as the first two men’s matches Sunday were forfeits due to the status of teams from Nigeria and Sierra Leone.  Also benefitting from a forfeit in Pool A were Yegor Dmitriyev and Sergey Polichshuk of Kazakhstan.

“According to the recent IOC communications, it is confirmed that both the men and women teams from Nigeria and Sierra Leone will not play any matches in the Beach Volleyball Tournaments of the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games due to ‘force majeure’,” said Marco “Tullio Teixeira, the Event Delegate for the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB).  “All their matches will be treated as forfeits according to FIVB Specific Competition Regulation.”

Tigrito Gomez and Peter Hernandez of Venezuela, who captured the FIVB U19 bronze medal in Porto, opened play Sunday with a 2-0 (21-7, 21-8) win in 25 minutes over Elias Ndagano and Sylvestre Ndayisabye of Rwanda.  In the all-South American semi-final in Portugal, Arthur and George Wanderley posted a 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) over Gomez and Hernandez.

The five days of pool play competition is spread over a six-day period with the young Olympians getting a rest day Wednesday.  After the completion of the preliminary rounds for men and women participants Friday, the top four teams from each group advance to the single-elimination bracket rounds starting next Sunday.

The women’s semi-final and medal matches will be played August 26 followed by the men’s “final four” matches August 27 at the 2,000-seat Beach Volleyball venue at the Nanjing Sports Park Complex.

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