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Italy strut their stuff in the women's volleyball
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By David Ferguson

Friday was probably the best day we have had since the Olympics started. It was hot, but not muggy – the sun shone brightly in a clear blue sky.The good weather clearly had its effect on the mood of the excited crowd who gathered for the afternoon volleyball session – Poland v. Venezuela and Italy v. Serbia.

A tiny fan proudly shows off his ticket.

Wilmar is a Colombian studying Chinese in Beijing. "I've come to cheer on Venezuela - my fellow Latinos", he told me.

Meanwhile, three Russians were attracting a great deal of attention. Alexei, along with two beautiful blonde girls, Alexandra and Alina, found themselves unable to escape from a throng of enthusiastic Chinese demanding to be photographed alongside the visitors and the Russian flag they had brought along for the occasion.

Their friend Stanislav explained to me that they were all part of a tour group from Sochi who had arrived in Beijing on the 7th and were having a great time. If the Chinese had known this it would have generated further feelings of kindred spirit – Sochi is the venue for the Winter Olympics in 2014.

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