In one of the day’s most anticipated fixtures of the Tokyo 2020 women’s Olympic beach volleyball tournament, Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka snatched a three-set victory over Ana Patricia Ramos and Rebecca Cavalcanti. Also on Wednesday, pairs from Switzerland, Germany, Australia and ROC booked their tickets to the elimination rounds of the competition.
Graudina & Kravcenoka win big match in Tokyo
Ladies from Switzerland, Germany, Australia and ROC progress to the Round of 16
Publicado 01:37, 28 jul. 2021
Pool D’s programme offered only one second-leg match on Wednesday, but what a match it was! It was the second three-setter for young Latvians Graudina and Kravcenoka, again against very strong opposition, but this time they celebrated with the victory. Graudina and Kravcenoka managed a 2-1 (21-15, 12-21, 15-12) win over Brazil’s Ana Patricia and Rebecca, the fourth best team in the Olympic ranking.
“We went into the game with 100% confidence that we would play our best, with a fighting mentality,” Kravcenoka told Volleyball World. “It was just good to be on the court against such a good team. Two weeks ago we lost to them, so we were ready for them.”
“We had a game plan and we knew what we had to do to win and it was just a question if we could execute it,” Graudina added. “The match was very similar to the first one we played. There was a good set and a very bad set, and then a very close third set, where the last three points decided the outcome of the game. We are so happy that this game turned in our favour and I think it came with the experience of already having played a three-setter at the Olympics.”
Before the other second-leg game in the pool, between USA’s Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil and Kenya’s Gaudencia Makokha and Brackcides Khadambi on Thursday morning, the Latvians, the Brazilians and the Americans have a win each on their records.
Switzerland’s Tanja Huberli and Nina Betschart topped the final standings in Pool F after a hard-fought 2-1 (14-21, 21-19, 15-12) comeback victory over Japan’s Miki Ishii and Megumi Murakami. This way, the Swiss advanced to the Round of 16 of the tournament along with second-placed Laura Ludwig and Margareta Kozuch of Germany. The home pair finished third in the pool and will have to wait to find out whether they will need to win a lucky-loser game in order to join the best 16 in the knockout stage. Also in the pool are Czechia’s Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova, who could not show up for any of their matches because of positive coronavirus test results.
In the second leg of Pool E, Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina of ROC and Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy of Australia registered their second victories to set up a direct duel for the first place as they go against each other on Friday, but also to claim their spots among the last 16 of the tournament. Makroguzova and Kholomina mastered a 2-0 (21-16, 21-11) win over Cuba’s Lidy Echeverria and Leila Martinez, and Artacho Del Solar and Clancy shut out Italy’s Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth by a narrow 2-0 (22-20, 21-19). To stay alive in the competition, the Cubans and the Italians will have to battle it out for the third place against each other.
“We’re feeling really good! We had two days off, so we had to find our good composure again and I think we did a really great job with that,” said Clancy. “There were a few moments when we were put to the test and we stuck together really strong as a team and now we are fortunate that we get to move to the next round, no matter what the outcome is in our next match. But we’ll definitely be looking to top our pool.”