London 2012

Press release

Wednesday women’s preview: three pools to finish round-robin play

Among the story lines for the start of the third round of pool play on Wednesday will be Australia's five-time Olympian and 2000 gold medalist Natalie Cook who needs a win with Tamsin Hinchely to move forward to single-elimination play

London, Great Britain, July 31, 2012 – Three of six women’s pools, each with four teams, will conclude round-robin pool play Wednesday with the top two finishers in each pool automatically advancing to the start of single elimination play at the London 2012 Olympic Games beach volleyball competition at Horse Guards Parade in central London.

A total 24 women’s beach volleyball teams from 17 countries are competing in London and half of them will be the first to finish three rounds of pool play Wednesday in the purpose-built, sold-out 15,000-seat stadium on the grounds of the iconic Horse Guards Parade as the majestic venue also includes a portion of adjacent St. James Park in historic central London.

Highlighting Wednesday’s women’s pool play action will be the top-seeded team from Brazil and the two-time defending Olympic gold medalists from the United States as both are 2-0 and looking forward to finishing 3-0 in pool play to earn key spots on the single-elimination bracket.

At 3:30 p.m. in the midday session, Brazil’s top-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca will play Czech Republic’s 13th-seeded Lenka Hajeckova/Hana Klapalova with Brazil’s 2011 FIVB SWATCH World Champions having an undefeated 8-0 record against Czech’s Hajeckova/Klapalova. The two teams met most recently this season in the Moscow Grand Slam on the FIVB SWATCH World Tour.

Playing in the last match of the day at 11 p.m. in the evening session for the third time this week, USA’s third-seeded Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh will carry their inspirational 16-0 Olympic record to meet Austria’s 15th-seeded sisters Doris Schwaiger/Stefanie Schwaiger. USA’s May-Treanor/Walsh have a 4-0 record in international matches against Austria’s Schwaiger sisters, including most recently in early July in the Gstaad Grand Slam on the World Tour.

With round-robin pool play continuing with three sessions on Wednesday starting at 9 a.m. and continuing to the final match of the day starting at 11 p.m. with these 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams playing their third pool play matches of these Olympic Games on Wednesday.  The remaining 12 teams in each gender will finish their pool play on Thursday.

The top two finishers in each pool will automatically move forward, after any ties are broken, to Friday’s start of the single-elimination bracket play for the remaining 16 teams on the way to the London 2012 Olympic Games beach volleyball podium. Additionally, the top two thrid place teams, again after ties are broken, will automatically move forward.  The other four third place teams will play two special play-in games to determine the final two teams for the knockout rounds.

The women’s morning session on Wednesday will start at 9 a.m. with China’s second-seeded Chen Xue/Xi Zhang meeting Greece’s 14th-seeded Vassiliki Arvaniti/Maria Tsiartsiani for the seventh time in international competition with Chinas Xue/Zhang having won all six of the previous matches, including twice.

Following those teams on the court to meet for the first time will be the 10 a.m. match between Germany’s 12th-seeded Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler playing against Mauritius’ 24th-seeded Elodie Li Yuk Lo / Natacha Rigobert in the first meeting between the two teams.

Wednesday’s midday session Wednesday, the first women’s matchup at 2:30 p.m. will see Switzerland’s eleventh-seeded Simone Kuhn/Nadine Zumkehr challenging Russia’s 23rd-seeded Anastasia Vasina/Anna Vozakova. The two teams have meet once before, in this year’s Rome Grand Slam won by the Swiss.

In the first women’s match of the evening session Wednesday at 10 p.m. Czech Republic’s 10th-seeded Kristyna Kolocova/Marketa Slukova will challenge Australia’s 22th-seeded  Natalie Cook/Tamsin Hinchley as the Czech team won the only other meeting between the two teams this year in Klagenfurt, Austria.

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