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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

US and China to meet in final

Reigning Olympic champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh of the United States advanced to the Beijing 2008 Women's Beach Volleyball final with a 21-12, 21-14 victory in 39 minutes over sixth seeded Renata Ribeiro and Talita Rocha of Brazil.

They will meet top-seeded Tian Jia and Wang Jie of China, who defeated their compatriots, fourth-seeded Xue Chen and Zhang Xi, in another semifinal match on Tuesday.

Both the US and Brazilian teams went to the semifinal with an undefeated record in the Beijing 2008 tournament. However, the US pair, who had posted 12 straight wins in a row in Olympic matches since Athens 2004, turned out to be too strong for the Brazilians to overtake.

The first set was lopsided, with the US duo maintaining a five to six point lead through the whole set. May-Treanor's spike in the last minute nailed the score at 21-12.

The second set wasn't much different. The Brazilian pair fought to take an early 4-3 lead; however, May-Treanor and Walsh quickly leveled the score at 5-5 and again took over the lead. The Brazilian pair saved themselves twice at match point after the score reached 20-12, but Rocha's service error gave the US team the point to win the match.

"We don't think about numbers. The only numbers we think about are 21 (points, to win a set), winning in two sets and finishing No. 1," May-Treanor said when asked what she thought of their winning streak.

The other semifinal match, staged between the two Chinese teams, was close and intense. Top-seeded Tian and Wang came back from one set down to win the next two in one hour and 14 minutes.

In the first set, Wang and Tian got two set points first, but were unable to put away their young, determined compatriots, who won 24-22.

The second set again was played in a seesawing fashion, with Wang and Tian narrowly taking the win, 29-27.

Top-seeded Wang and Tian started to show their strength in the tie-breaker, winning the set by a larger margin than the previous two, 15-8.

Courtesy : www.en.beijing2008.cn

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