London 2012

Press release

Norwegian pair end British hopes in London

Tarjei Skarlund was in celebratory mood after he and Martin Spinnangr beat Great Britain's Steve Grotowski and John Garcia-Thompson

London, Great Britain, August 1, 2012 – Tarjei Skarlund and Martin Spinnangr ended Steve Grotowski and John Garcia-Thompson hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages at the London 2012 Olympic Games with a straight sets victory.

The Norwegians and British pairs pushed each other close in the first set and Skarlund and Spinnangr needed two match points to go one set up. In the second set though they dominated from start to finish and won 22-20, 21-13.

“I’m feeling great, it’s been amazing tournament so far,” Skarlund said. “We’re getting better and better. It was a little tough for us with 15,000 against us. We started a little rusty, but we are improving.”

It was a disappointing end for the home duo, who finish their time at Horse Guard’s Parade with three losses from three. Nonetheless there was pride that they had competed in their home Olympics.

“This started five and a half years ago,” Grotowski said. “I knew it was going to happen, but I couldn’t imagine it would be like this. It has been a great experience; I just wish we could have done better.”

Jacob Gibb and Sean Rosenthal re-discovered their best form to beat Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Ruslans Sorokins in straight sets. After an opening match win, they lost their second to Poland’s Mariusz Prudel and Grzegorz Fijalek to leave their qualification hopes in the balance.

Against the Latvians they were dominant. Gibb was took control at the net and Rosenthal was sharp in defence at the back of the court. It meant they secured a 21-10, 21-16 victory in 37minutes.

“This was a really big win for us,” Gibb said. “We played like garbage two nights ago. We really needed that confidence.”

In the women’s competition FIVB world champions Juliana Felisberta and Larissa Franca wrapped up their pool with three wins from three.

Once again they bossed the match from start to finish and won 21-12, 21-18 against the Czech Republic's Lenka Hajeckova and Hana Klapalova.

"The gold medal is still far away,” Juliana said. “I think about it step by step as a final destination and I enjoy the journey. We've been tested in all the matches. We still have to play hard and make it special each match. That's really important for us."

Russian pair Anastasia Vasina and Anna Vozakova beat Switzerland’s Nadine Zumkehr and Simone Kuhn to top Pool B. It was a do-or-die match for the Russian duo who knew a loss could have put them out of the Olympics.

"This game was very difficult for us,” Vasina said. “It was either ending up first or last in the pool. The pressure was huge.”

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