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Dutch water polo team eyes semifinal berth
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The Netherlands women's water polo team, who is coming for their first Olympic appearance in eight years, is determined to reach the last four at the Beijing Games.

"We are aiming at the semifinal berth at the Beijing Olympics," said Galen Van Robin, the head coach of the Netherlands, at the Beijing International airport as the team arrived on Wednesday.

Women's water polo, played in the Netherlands since the 20th century, was included in the Olympics for the first time in Sydney 2000. The Dutch finished fourth at the Sydney Olympics, beaten by Russia 4-3 in the third-place playoff.

"We didn't qualify for the Athens Olympics, but we are back again this time. Hopefully, we can get a satisfactory result in Beijing," said Van Robin.

"This is the second time we come to Beijing. Last time we came here to train with the Chinese team," added Van Robin.

There are eight teams qualified for the Beijing Olympics -- Russia, Hungary, Greece, Italy, China, the United States, Australia and the Netherlands.

The Netherlands will face Hungary in their first match at the Olympics on August 11.

(Xinhua News Agency July 31, 2008)

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