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Beach Volleyball - 03. July 2009.

Czech Republic pair post Women’s upset at 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Championships

Stavanger, Norway, July 2, 2009 - While the top six-seeded women’s teams were all winning first round elimination matches here Thursday, a team from the Czech Republic upset a higher-seeded team from Germany as the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Championships presented by ConocoPhillips continues Friday with round of 16 and quarterfinals on the Vaagen Harbour dockside courts.

Eleventh-seeded Sona Novakova and Lenka Hajeckova upset seventh-seeded Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler 21-16 and 21-16 in 36 minutes as the three top-seeded teams each from Brazil and the United States all won opening matches to move forward in the 32-team single-elimination bracket portion of the US$1-million tournament that started June 25 with 48 teams for both men and women competing in four-team groups of pool play.

The top two teams in 12 pools advanced to Thursday’s opening elimination rounds along with the eight best third-place tandems in each group in the 32-team single-elimination brackets. The women’s medal matches will be held on Saturday followed by the men’s podium placement matches on Sunday. The winning teams in each gender share the $60,000 first-place prize as a new women’s world champion will be crowned.

Novakova was part of the bronze medal team in the 2001 SWATCH FIVB World Championships in Austria while Holtwick and Semmler won the 2007 European Tour championship and are tied for the continental lead again this summer with one title and two seconds to their credit.

Top-seeded Jennifer Kessy and April Ross of the United States, who won the SWATCH FIVB World Tour event in Stavanger in 2007 and earned the bronze medal last year, scored a 21-17 and 21-10 victory in 38 minutes over 37th-seeded Svitlana Baburina and Galyna Osheyko of the Ukraine. The Americans have now won four matches in two sets each in this championship and have two silver medals this season at world tour stops in Brasilia and Seoul.

Second-seeded Maria Antonelli and Talita Antunes of Brazil, in their first international season together where they have two gold medals and one silver in four 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Tour events, opened elimination play by defeating 41st-seeded Merel Mooren and Marloes Wesselink of the Netherlands, 21-12 and 21-13 in 34 minutes.

Third-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca of Brazil moved to the round of 16 with a 21-10 and 21-15 win in 34 minutes of Mexico’s 34th-seeded Mayra Garcia and Bibiana Candelas.

Americans Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs, seeded fourth in the tournament, advanced by beating 12th-seeded Danielle Remmers and Michelle Stiekema of The Netherlands 21-18 and 21-10 in 37 minutes.

Fifth-seeded Brazilian’s Ana Paula Connelly and Shelda Bede survived a three-set match to defeat Cuba’s 42nd-seeded Dalixia Fernandez Grasset and Imara Esteves Ribalta 21-14, 19-21 and 17-15 in 59 minutes.

The third United Sates team in the elimination rounds, sixth-seeded Angie Akers and Tyra Turner were also extended to three sets before advancing to the Friday’s action. Akers and Turner came from behind to defeat 28th-seeded Canadians Annie Martin and Marie-Andree Lessard 18-21, 24-22 and 17-15 in a 61-minute match.

Capping Thursday evening’s play before an enthusiastic near capacity crowd in the 8,000-seat Vaagen Harbor Centre Court, Norway’s 9th-seeded Nila Ann Hakedal and Ingrid Torlen pushed 8th-seeded Brazilian sisters Marie Clara and Carolina Salgado to three sets before losing 16-21, 21-16 and 15-7 in XX minutes.

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