First day of elimination round sees top beach volleyball teams challenged

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Agatha and Barbara bounce China from competition

Brazilians Agatha and Barbara kicked off Round of 16 play with a win over China’s Wang/Yue. The pair won 21-12, 21-16. Agatha and Barbara will advance to the semifinals where they will play Ukolova/Birlova (RUS).

Qatar’s Olympic dreams cut short

Qatar’s Jefferson/Cherif, who made history as the nation’s beach volleyball team to qualify for Olympic Games, were eliminated from the Rio tournament after being beaten by Semenov/Krasilnikov of Russia in the Round of 16.Cubans continue winning streak

Cuba’s Diaz/Gonzalez continued their winning streak, beating Austria’s Doppler/Horst to advance to the Semifinal round. Cuba won the match in straight sets 21-17, 21-14. The Cubans, who rarely compete internationally, entered the tournament as the No. 21 seed but managed to finish at the top of their preliminary pool.

Lucky losers challenge unbeatable Brazilians

After securing a last chance berth into the Round of 16, Germany’s Karla Borger and Britta Buthe took on top-seeded Larissa and Talita of Brazil. The German women went on an early point run, forcing Larissa/Talita to scramble to make up the difference before overtaking Borger/Buthe to win the first set 21-17. In a similar fashion to the first set, the German women put pressure on Brazil, staying within just a point for almost the entirety of the match with several lead changes. Unable to pull ahead, the German women fell in the second set and were eliminated.Russians end Spanish streak

Ekaterina Birlova and Evgenia Ukolova ended Elsa/Liliana of Spain’s winning streak in the Round of 16. The Spanish women were 3-0 in pool play but Russia quickly ended their Olympic streak with a 23-21, 24-22 over the Elsa/Liliana to advance to the quarterfinals.Dutch men find rhythm

Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst bounced back after a surprising pool loss that left them 2-1 in preliminary play. The fifth-seeded Dutch men fell to ninth-seeded Russians Semenov/Krasilnikov. Nummerdor/Varenhorst were expected to win their pool but it was the Russians who took the top spot. The Netherlands took on Mexico’s Virgen/Ontiveros, winning 21-18, 21-15 to advance to the quarterfinals.All-Italian brawl

Italy’s Nicolai/Lupo took on compatriots Carambula/Ranghieri on the first day of the elimination round. Carambula/Ranghieri managed to finish at the top of their pool based on points after Brazil’s Alison/Bruno Schmidt fell to Austria’s Doppler/Horst. Nicolai/Lupo, who were just narrowly beaten by USA’s Dalhausser/Lucena in the last match of pool play, edged out their fellow country men 21-12, 23-21 to advance to the quarterfinals.

U.S. women still on top

Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross made quick work of Italy’s Menegatti/Giombini, winning 21-10, 21-16 in just thirty minutes. While the Italian women do not advance, their run in Rio was valiant. The pair began playing just days before the Olympic beach volleyball tournament got underway. Marta Menegatti’s original partner, Viktoria Orsi Toth, tested positive for a banned substance and was removed from the Games. Laura Giombini quickly stepped in to fill the gap and the pair finished 1-2 in pools.

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