Teams which have strong psychology to give full play of their abilities will go the farthest in the beach volleyball competition at the Beijing Olympics, Georgia's team leader said on Monday.
"Many teams are equal in strength. Everybody knows that. Mental stability is the most important," Levan Akhvledian told Xinhua during the break time of a training session of Georgian players in the Chaoyang Park beach volleyball ground.
Beach volleyball competitions at the Beijing Olympics will be the most exciting ones compared with previous Games as this time the results of the elimination matches after the top 16 will be completely open, said Akhvledian.
The teams from the United States, Brazil and other countries, which stand in the first places on the Olympic qualification ranking, could also be eliminated after the top 16 are selected.
"There is only one match. Nobody knows who will win.
"Players are humans, not robots. And beach volleyball is a two-person sport. If either of them has some problems in the match, the whole team could be defeated," the team leader noted.
And other factors such as luck and the adaption to the weather and play ground could also be exerting influence on the results, he said.
"The ranking is not important. The key is who can give full play of their abilities in the match," he said.
Akhvledian said the two Georgian beach volleyball pairs, men duo Renato "Geor" Gomes/Jorge "Gia" Terceiro, and women duo Andrezza "Rtvelo" Martins/Cristine "Saka" Santanna, aimed at capturing a medal in Beijing. They are ranked at the Olympic qualification standings at 15th and 22nd place respectively.
"They are making rapid progress," said the team leader.
Beach volleyball is becoming more popular in Georgia, a country of five million people and with long coastlines at the Black Sea, said Akhvledian, who is also the chairman of the Georgian Volleyball Federation.
"If our players get a medal in Beijing, much more people will love to play the sport in our country," he said.
He praised the Chaoyang Park beach volleyball venue. "Viewers sitting at any place in the venue can watch the matches clearly," he explained.
And the sand, whose quality is strictly controlled by FIVB, is very ideal for playing beach volleyball, the Georgian said.
(Xinhua News Agency August 4, 2008)