London 2012

Press release

Women's final pool play day Thursday in London

The most popular team on the Horse Guards Parade center court on Thursday during the final day of pool play at the London 2012 Olympic Games will be Great Britain's Shauna Mullin/Zara Dampney

London, Great Britain, August 1, 2012 – Three of six women’s pools, each with four teams, will conclude round-robin pool play Thursday 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 last to finish three rounds of pool play Thursday 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 Thursday’s women’s pool play action will be will be several matches with significant impact on the bracket placement for single elimination. At the top of the list will be the only match of the day featuring undefeated 2-0 teams at 4:30 p.m. as USA’s fourth-seeded Jennifer Kessy/April Ross will meet Spain’s surprising 16th-seeded Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez Steiner in the first meeting between these two FIVB SWATCH World Tour regulars.

Another spotlight match will be the 2:30 p.m. battle in the midday session, between a pair of 1-1 teams striving for better bracket placement as Germany’s eighth-seeded Sara Goller/Laura Ludwig challenging Netherlands’ 20th-seeded Madelein Meppelink/Sophie van Gestel. The veteran Germans lead the young Dutch in their series 2-0 both this year on the FIVB SWATCH World Tour in Beijing and Shanghai.

Certainly a popular match for the thousands of British spectators filling the stadium, the 3:30 p.m. match in the midday session will be the first-time meeting between Great Britain’s sixth-seeded Zara Dampney/Shauna Mullin and Russia’s 18th-seededEkaterina Khomyakova/Evgenia Ukolova, both 1-1 in their pool

With round-robin pool play finishing with three sessions on Thursday 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 Thursday.  The other 12 teams in each gender finished 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 late Thursday night to determine the final two teams for the knockout rounds.

The first women’s match in the morning session will start at 11 a.m. with a first-time meeting between Netherlands’ Sanne Keizer/Marleen van Iersel and Argentina’s 21st-seeded Ana Gallay/Virginia Zonta as both teams are 0-2 in London.

Following the Dutch/Argentine match at noon will have Italy’s 2-0 seventh-seeded Greta Cicolari/Marta Menegatti playing against Canada’s 0-2 19th-seeded Marie-Andree Lessard/Annie Martin. Italy leads the series 1-0 from the only previous time they have met in Aland, Finland in 2010.

In the final women’s match of the midday session at 5:30 p.m. will be between Brazil’s 2-0 fifth-seeded Maria Antonelli/Talita Antunes and Australia’s 17th-seeded 0-2 Louise Bawden/Becchara Palmer. Brazil’s Antonelli/Antunes lead the series between the two teams 4-0 although they have not played each other since April of 2011 in Sanya, China.

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