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Beach volleyball's top men seed thrashed, hosts net first victory
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The hosts gained their first victory on the first day of Beijing Olympics beach volleyball tournament Saturday as in the men's section, top-seeded U.S. pair was dealt a blow.

The host country's women pair Tian Jia/Wang Jie scored their first victory by defeating Simone Kuhn and Lea Schwer of Switzerland 2-0(21-12, 21-18), starting their march to an expected breakthrough on home sand.

Tian achieved the best Olympic result in beach volleyball for China at 2004 Athens Games, pairing with another partner. They were placed ninth.

2000 Sydney Games champions Natalie Cook, teamed with Tasmin Barnett, squeezed through Alexandra Shiryaeva and Natalya Uryadova of Russia 2:1(21-8, 19-21, 15-12).

"It's always a danger to win the first set. You just expect the opposition to lie down - and often they don't," said Cook.

Brazil's Larissa Franca, who replaced injured Juliana Felisberta days ago, defeated with Ana Paula Connelly Georgia's Andrezza Martins/Cristine Santanna 2-1.

Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs of the United States gained a 2-0 victory (21-19, 27-25) over Dutch pair Merel Mooren and Rebekka Kadijk. Norwegian duo Kathrine Maaseide and Susanne Glesnes also thrashed Belgians Liesbeth Mouha and Liesbet Van Breedam 2-0(24-22,21-18). Germany's Stephanie Pohl/Okka Rau defeated Cuba's Milago Crespo/Imara Esteves Ribalta 2-0(21-17, 21-19).

In the men's section, Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers of the United States, who ranked first on the Olympic qualification ranking, lost to Martins Plavins/Aleksandrs Samoilovs of Latvia 0-2.

"It's not the end of the world but it's definitely a disapointing loss," said Rogers. "We have to win the next two matches," he said.

Defending Olympics champions Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos breezed past Angolans Morais Abreu and Emanuel Fernandes, who are placed 22nd on the Olympic qualification standing, in two sets (21-8,21-13).

In another match which lasted late in the night, David Klemperer/Eric Koreng of Germany scored a victory from a early deficit, defeating Jorre Kjemperud/Tarjei Skarlund of Norway 2-1.

Dutch pair Reinder Nummerdor/Richard Schuil,Australian pair Andrew Schacht/Joshua Slack and Swiss duo Patrick Heuscher/Sasch Heyer all defeated their respective rivals 2-0.

(Xinhua News Agency August 10, 2008)

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