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YOG pool play pairings posted

George Wanderley (left) and Arthur Mariano of Brazil pose for the photographers before the start of Friday's training session at the Beach Volleyball venue at the Nanjing Sports Park Complex.
Nanjing, China, August 15 - The schedules for the inaugural Beach Volleyball competition at the Youth Olympics were determined today as players from the 50-plus national organizing committees learned their opening five opponents for the preliminary rounds of the competition.

Although the seedings for the men’s and women’s competition do not reflect the strength of each team, several pairs in both genders have made a name for themselves before the start of play here Sunday at the Nanjing Sports Park Complex.  Teams representing all five of the FIVB confederations will complete practices sessions Saturday before attending the opening ceremonies of the second annual Youth Olympic Games.

With the field made up of competitors from the age of 15 through 18, tandems from Brazil, Germany, Canada and the Czech Republic advanced to the women’s “final four” two weeks ago in Portugal for the FIVB under-19 World Championships in Porto.  The top nations in the men’s FIVB U19 worlds in Portugal were Brazil, Ukraine and Venezuela.

Brazilian Eduardo Lisboa, who celebrated her 16th birthday in Porto, won the FIVB U19 title with Andressa Cavalcanti by out-lasting Lisa Arnholdt and Sarah Schneider of Germany 2-1 (21-14, 13-21 and 19-17) in the 44-minute gold medal match.  Eduardo will be competing in the Youth Olympics with 15-year old Ana Patricia Silva, who placed ninth in Porto with Paula Hoffman.

Eduardo and Ana Patricia will be seeded 11th in the competition and will be competing in a pool with teams Sierra Leone, Viet Name, the Czech Republic, the United States and Switzerland.  The Czech tandem of Kristyna Adamcikova and Katerina Valkova, who are seeded 23rd in the Youth Olympics, lost 2-0 (21-14 and 21-12) to Eduardo and Cavalcanti in the semi-finals in Porto.

Arnholdt and Schneider will be seeded 17th overall and will be playing in a pool with pairs from Congo, Indonesia, Trinidad and Tobago, China and Bolivia.  To advance to the Porto final, the Germans defeated the McNamara twins (Megan and Nicole) of Canada 2-0 (21-14 and 21-19) in the U19 semi-finals.

The McNamaras, who posted a 2-0 (21-16 and 21-12) win over Adamcikova and Valkova in the bronze medal match at Porto, were seeded last in the 36-team women’s Youth Olympic field.  The Canadians will challenge teams from Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Italy and Latvia in their pool.

The Porto podium of Arthur Mariano/George Wanderley of Brazil, Illia Kovaliov/Oleh Plotnytskiy the Ukraine and Tigrito Gomez/Peter Hernandez of Venezuela will be the featured men’s pairs.  While the Brazilians drew a No. 23 seed for the Youth Olympics, Ukraine is No. 16 and Venezuela No. 30.

Arthur and George Wanderley, who defeated Kovaliov and Plotnytskiy 2-1 (21-18, 21-23 and 15-11) in the 49-minute U19 finale, will be playing teams from New Zealand, Germany, Jamaica, Lithuania and Congo in their group.  The Ukrainians are in the same pool with teams from Thailand, Argentina, Sierra Leone, Canada and Sao Tome and Principe.

Gomez and Hernandez, who lost to the Brazilians in the Porto semi-finals before defeating a team from The Netherlands for the U19 bronze medal, will compete in a pool with pairs from Poland, Rwanda, Indonesia, the United States and Austria.

Competition begins Sunday with the first of five days of pool play matches for both men and women participants.  After the conclusion of pool play matches August 22, the single-elimination rounds will start August 24 leading to the women’s medal matches August 26.  The men’s semi-final and medal matches will be played August 27 at the 2,000-seat Beach Volleyball venue at the Nanjing Sports Park Complex.


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