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Australian beach volleyball team eyes to bring medals home
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Australian men's and women's beach volleyball team said in Beijing on Monday that they both eye to bring medals home ahead of the kickoff of the Beijing tournament.

"We are here to win a medal for Australia, I have worked out through 16 years to be in a position to do so," said Natalie Cook, the gold medalist in Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Starting her beach volleyball career in 2003, Cook was a four-time Olympian rich in experience and competing skills.

Teamed up with Tamsin Barnett last year, Cook said the 18 months period was not long for her and her new partner to try to understand each other and build up chemistry.

Barnett, 28, has been playing for Australia's volleyball team in Sydney Olympics.

Cook said the duo's encounter with third-ranked Juniana/Larissa of Brazil next Wednesday would be a test for them.

The Brazilian tandem have been among the world top three for long and are very skillful and have a lot of ball control, Cook said, adding that her team had a good head-to-head record, which could relieve the pressure.

Joshua Slack, who paired with Andrew Schacht for the Australian men's team, said that they are looking forward to capturing a medal in Beijing.

"We got bronze medal at last year's World Championship and another bronze during the world tour in Poland this year. We are one of the best teams in the world and are very confident," said Slack.

Speaking of the fifth-ranked Chinese tandem Wu Penggen/Xu Linyin, Slack said the duo are fairly good match as both of them are tall and athletic.

"We aim to win every game we play, and are here to bring home a medal for Australia," he added.

At the Athens Games, Cook, pairing with Nicole Sanderson, missed the bronze medal after lost to Americans Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs.

(Xinhua News Agency August 4, 2008)

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