London, Great Britain, August 2, 2012 – Austria’s Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger continued their improved form with a win over Great Britain’s Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin that takes them into the round of 16 at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The Schwaigers were their usual mix of dogged play, strong defence and powerful play at the net and it meant they finished winners with a score of 21-15, 21-12.
“We tried to ignore the crowd, like every time we’ve played here,” Doris Schwaiger said. “Our wish was to reach the top 10 again. Now we have reached our goal.”
The win brings an end to the host nation’s involvement at Horse Guard’s Parade, a day after men’s team John Garcia-Thompson and Steve Grotowski were eliminated at the end of pool play.
“It is a bit of a strange feeling,” Dampney said. “The Olympic Games are over for us and it has been an incredible week. We had an incredible high at the start and we knew we had to back it up, but we enjoyed every second of it.”
“This is our first Olympics and to win a game at the Olympics is amazing,” Mullin added. It is strange to think we will never have the chance to do it again.”
In the other lucky loser match The Netherlands’ Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel beat the Czech Republic’s Lenka Hajeckova and Hana Klapalova to progress
Germans in control
Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig booked themselves a place in the round of 16 with their second win in three matches. They defeated The Netherland’s Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel to avoid the lucky loser round.
The German’s were in control early on and Ludwig was on top form with her defence at the back of the court. She maintained that form in the second set and with Goller in control at the net, they finished with a 21-18, 21-14 victory.
“I'm really relieved,” Goller said. “It's not like coming third and having to play the lucky loser round late at night, which is very stressful. So now we have time off and can relax, get our bodies sorted, be happy and see what the draw brings tomorrow. We can't do any tactical stuff as we don't know who we're playing next.”
There wan epic clash between USA’s April Ross and Jennifer Kessy, and Spain’s Liliana Fernandez and Elsa Baquerizo as Pool D came to a close.
The Americans took the lead after the first set, but the Spaniards fought back to draw level in the second. At the end of the third Fernandez and Baquerizo had two match points, but Ross and Kessy saved both of them. They then had two match points that the Spanish saved, but on the third Ross and Kessy wrapped up a 21-19, 19-21, 19-17 victory and first place in the pool.
“Every match feels like a tough battle and that was the toughest one yet,” Ross said. “It wasn’t looking good at the end, but Jen came out with a great dig. I know some top-ranked teams have finished second, so I hope this first place helps us out now.”
Maria Antonelli and Talita Antunes also completed a clean sweep of their pool play matches with a 18-21, 21-16, 15-9 win over Australia’s Becchara Palmer and Louise Bawden.
“We have a long way to go and now we have to forget about this game,” Maria Antonelli said. “We have to concentrate on the next one because if you lose you are out.”
Dutch into round of 16
Netherlands‘ pair Sanne Keizer and Marleen van Iersel squeezed directly through to the round of 16 with a 21-12, 21-16 win over Argentine’s Ana Gallay and Maria Zonta.
“I feel relieved,” Keizer said. “We won our first match with some very good play. Now we need to win some more to help our sport grow even more in Holland.”
Italian’s Marta Menegatti and Greta Cicolari wrapped up their third pool win against Canadians Marie-Andree Lessard and Annie Martin.
In London the teams have been split equally into six pools of and the teams play each other once in their group. The top two advance to the single-elimination knockout phase that begins on August 3 along with the two best third-placed teams. The remaining four third-place teams will then compete in playoff matches to determine which pairs will fill the final two places in the 16-team elimination bracket’s first round.
Sixteen teams qualified for the Games through the Olympic Ranking which is based primarily on world tour standings. Five more joined as winners of the AVC, CAVB, CEV, CSV and NORCECA Continental Cup Finals, and two from the World Cup Olympic Qualification Tournament. Great Britain was granted a berth as hosts.
The sold-out beach volleyball competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games is being held through Aug. 9 in a purpose-built 15,000-seat stadium on the grounds of Horse Guards Parade in central London. For current information, visit www.fivb.org.
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