London, Great Britain, August 4, 2012 – Just in case there was anyone within continents of Horse Guards Parade,the top men and women’s teams from Brazil and China respectively reminded everyone emphatically that they are well and on the move, starting the last day of the round of 16 in the first matches of the day Saturday as Day 8 began for the London 2012 Olympic Games beach volleyball competition.
All the crowd-pleasing, heart-pounding action is being held in the purpose-built, sold-out 15,000-seat stadium on the grounds of the iconic Horse Guards Parade as the majestic venue includes a portion of adjacent St. James Park in historic central London.
With two matches in Saturday’s morning session, there will be four sessions throughout the day with one women’s and one men’s match in each.
Brazil’s reigning FIVB SWATCH World Champions and FIVB SWATCH World Tour champs Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego and China’s 2008 Beijing Olympics bronze medalists and 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour point leaders Chen Xue/Xi Zhang both routed opponents from Germany and Russia, respectively to advance to the quarterfinals of this year’s Olympic Games.
For openers, China’s Xue/Zhang forgot about their Games-opening loss on Saturday to the other Russian team as the powered past Russia’s Ekaterina Khomyakova/Evgeniya Ukolova, 21-12, 21-11 in just 30 minutes as Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel conquers Germany’s Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik in straights sets as well, 21-16, 21-14 in 37 minutes.
With their defeats, Russia’s Khomyakova/Ukolova and Germany’s Erdmann/Matysik leave with ninth place official finishes in the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Russians had a 2-2 record and the Germans 2-3 as they had to win a play-in match on Thursday to advance to single elimination.
Statisically in the China-Russia women’s match, China’s Xue had three ace serves, six kills, a match-high six blocks and two digs while Zhang contributed two aces, 15 kills and 10 digs to the winning effort. For Russia, Khomyakova had one ace, four kills and one dig and Ukolova had 11 kills and five digs. It was the first meeting between the two teams.
Following her team’s victory, Zhang said, “I think we found our own style and we changed tactics for this match. We are so excited and having so much fun. Here in London is better for us than Beijing because we feel less pressure. We prepared a lot for this match and studied they way this Russian team played.”
With their round of 16 victory, China advances to the quarterfinals to meet Austrian sisters Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger. The Schwaigers advanced my winning their round of 16 match against the Russian team that upset China on the opening day, Anastasia Vasina/Anna Vozakova.
Reflecting on the match and the Olympic experience, Ukolova said, “The Chinese played really well, with a really good serve and we did not receive the ball well. Zhang is really fast and goes up so high on the block. Now it is a bit strange for me. I am not happy with this loss, but this is our first Olympics and I am really happy that we were here. The atmosphere has been really good and the people great.”
Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel made fairly quick work of their German opponents as as five-time Olympian and Athens 2004 gold medalist Emanuel and his first time Olympian teammate Alison have not lost a set in their first four matches in London.
Statistically, Brazil’s Alison was credited with one ace, six kills, six blocks and five digs while the veteran Emanuel had 13 kills and nine digs. For Germany, Erdmann ended the match with one ace, 12 kills, four blocks and two digs and Matysik had one ace, six kills and seven digs to his credit.
Emanuel said after his team’s victory, “We feel great and we played well today. We are very happy and it was a hard match against the Germans. It was emotional to hear 15,000 people shouting and cheering.”
In defeat, Germany’s Erdmann admitted, “I’m really sad. We wanted to stay longer and we didn’t want to play our last match like this. Today our sideouts were bad and our serving was bad. It was hard today. Everything has to be perfect against this Brazilian team. We didn’t play in a focused enough way today and it showed.”
Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel now move onto a quarterfinal matchup on Monday against Poland’s Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel. Poland’s Fijalek/Prudel advanced by eliminating Switzerland’s Sascha Heyer/Sebastian Chevallier in their round of 16 match on Friday.
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