Men's Olympic Games 2004
Press & News
Day 1
15 August
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Three upsets on opening day of men’s competition
Athens, Greece, August 15, 2004 – Poland, the Netherlands and Argentina got their 2004 Olympic campaigns off to excellent starts by recording victories over more fancied opponents on the opening day of the men’s Volleyball competition at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Sunday.
Following Saturday’s defeat of the defending women’s champions Cuba by Germany, Poland afflicted the same result on the men’s champions from Sydney, Serbia and Montenegro with a polished 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-16) win in the first match of the day. Pic: Poland celebrate beating Serbia and Montenegro
Poland, ranked 10th in the world, overcame the 2004 World League bronze medalists who are ranked seven places higher on the world rankings with a more energetic game to make an excellent start in Pool A.
"It is very important that in the first match we beat the Olympic champions,” Poland’s Dawid Murek said. “We were very focused on the match, but we will not cheer yet, because there are five more matches to come."
"They deserved to win today,” Serbia and Montenegro captain Nikola Grbic said. “They were not intimidated by us. We started well but our sets were not good. Nevertheless, this is a long tournament and we will give our best for the rest of the matches."
Argentina and Greece joined Poland at the top of Pool A with straight sets victories over France (25-15, 25-23, 25-22) and Tunisia (25-20, 25-14, 25-17) respectively. Argentina, ranked eighth in the world, overcame a disrupted buildup to impressively dismiss France, who are ranked four places higher in fourth.
Meanwhile the Netherlands shocked Sydney 2000 silver medalists Russia with an exhilarating 3-2 (25-23, 19-25, 17-25, 27-25, 18-16) win to sit at the top of Pool B alongside world champions Brazil, who dropped a set against Australia before winning 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 25-12, 25-21), and European champions Italy, who beat USA by the same margin (25-21, 21-25, 25-17, 25-23).
"It was a dream start,” Netherlands coach Bert Goedkoop said. “Russia is very good and wins nine out of 10 matches. Today the team gave their best and did everything they had to do."
The women’s competition resumes on Monday with a Pool A match between Brazil and Kenya starting proceedings at 09:00. The other women’s matches see China play the Dominican Republic in Pool B, Italy take on Japan and Greece host Korea in two Pool A matches before USA play Germany and Russia play Cuba in Pool B.
Italy beats USA in passionate match
ATHENS, 15 August - An intense match between the second and fifth ranked teams in the world saw Italy overcome United States in four passionate sets, 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 25-17, 25-23) at the Peace and Friendship Stadium. More Statistics Quotes Photos Pic: Italy's Matej Cernic is blocked by Clayton Stanley
Greece makes perfect start in Olympic debut
ATHENS, 15 August - Greece celebrated their debut at the Olympics with a comfortable straight-sets Pool A win over Tunisia at the Peace and Friendship Stadium 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-17). More Statistics Photos Pic: The Greek public came in full support for the home team
Brazil hold on to overcome tough Australian performance
ATHENS, 15 August - Brazil had to fight harder than they had predicted in order to overcome the obstacle of Australia in four-sets 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 25-12, 25-21) at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Sunday. More Statistics Quotes Photos Pic: Brazilian libero Sergio receives
Argentina sweeps France in third upset
ATHENS, 15 August - Another pre-match favourite fell to an outsider in the Olympic Volleyball competition at the Peace and Friendship Stadium after world number eight Argentina beat world number four France in straight sets 25-15, 25-23, 25-22 . More Statistics Quotes Photos Pic: Argentina's euphoria of winning their first match
Dutch upset Russians in thriller
ATHENS, 15 August - Atlanta champions the Netherlands upset Russia 3-2 in a thrilling match decided by a tiebreaker (25-23, 19-25, 17-25, 27-25, 18-16) on the opening day of the men's Volleyball competition. More Statistics Quotes Photos Pic: FIVB President Dr. Rubén Acosta (black shirt) congratulates the Prince of the Netherlands Prince Willem-Alexander after the Netherlands victory with FIVB General Manager Mr. Jean-Pierre Seppey(left) and Malu Acosta
Defending champs suffer shock defeat at the hands of Poland
ATHENS, 15 August - Another reigning Olympic champion suffered defeat as Poland outplayed 2000 champions Serbia & Montenegro, 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-16) in the opening match of the Men's Volleyball Olympic tournament at the Peace and Friendship Stadium. More Statistics Quotes Photos Pic: Poland's Sebastian Swiderski spikes past the defence of Serbia & Montenegro to go on and top score in the match with 20 points