Lausanne, July 31, 2008 – The Austrian National Olympic Committee has announced to the IOC and the FIVB that Sabine Swoboda, paired with Sara Montagnolli and qualified for the Olympic Games in Beijing, has been forced to stop for medical reasons, and so the NOC has asked to withdraw the team from the Olympic Games. According to the Olympic ranking, the first team to be eligible for Beijing 2008 is the Swiss team composed of Simone Kuhn and Lea Schwer, who missed being among the 24 entries by only 30 points. The Swiss NOC has accepted to implement the replacement and it registered its team for the Olympic Beach Volleyball Tournament on Thursday. The application was accepted by all the parties concerned, such as the IOC, FIVB and BOCOG.
Simone Kuhn and Lea Schwer will participate in Beijing 2008 in the same slot as the Austrian team, without any change in the seeding and in the match schedule released by the FIVB. The Swiss pair will play in Pool A together with Tian Jia-Wang, China, Maaseide-Glesnes, Norway, and Van Breedam-Mouha, Belgium. The Swiss Beach Volleyball delegation will be represented in both categories, as the men (Sascha Heyer paired with the 2004 Olympic Bronze medallist Patrick Heuscher and Martin Laciga-Jan Schnider) also qualified for the Olympic Games.
By replacing Montagnolli-Swoboda in the pools schedule, Kuhn-Schwer will debut on August 9, at 11.00 a.m. local time, against the Chinese team Tian Jia-Wang, seeded as No. 1 during the drawing of lots in Gstaad last Saturday.