Women’s favourites on course in beach volleyball


Talita Antunes (left) and her Brazilian partner Larissa Franca continued their winning ways Tuesday along with other top teams from Germany and Canada in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 9, 2016 - While the men’s beach volleyball competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games has been turned upside down with the first-, fourth- and sixth-seeded pairs absorbing setbacks in pool play, the women's side of the schedule has been clean of surprises with all six top-ranked tandems each winning their first two group matches.

With top seeds Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas of Brazil (Pool B), April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States (Pool C) and Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands (Pool F) “taking care of business” Monday, the other top-ranked pairs of Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca of Brazil (Pool A), Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst of Germany (Pool D) and Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan of Canada (Pool E) followed the script here Tuesday.

While Talita/Larissa are tied atop their pools and will be challenged Thursday for their group’s leadership by a team from Poland, Ludwig/Walkenhorst is in control in Pool D and Bansley/Pavan in charge of Pool E.  As the only unbeaten teams in their group, the Germans dispatched previously undefeated Canadians Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas 2-0 (21-17, 21-11) in 34 minutes Tuesday before the Canadians defeated Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr of Switzerland 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) in 49 minutes in the “midnight madness” match.

Talita and Larissa won their second Pool A match Tuesday with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-13) win in 39 minutes over Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat of the United States to tie Poland’s Monika Brzostek/Kinga Kolosinska atop the group.  The Polish pair won their second pool match by defeating Ekaterina Birlova/Evgeniya Ukolova of Russia 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) in 39 minutes.

Women’s Pools B, C and F will be decided Wednesday with only Ross and Walsh Jennings alone atop their group.  The Americans close out Pool C action against Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland.  In Pool B, the battle of unbeatens feature Agatha/Barbara against Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez of Spain.  The 2-0 teams in Pool F competing for the group title are Meppelink/Van Iersel and Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy of Australia.


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