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Second Chinese women's beach volleyball duo in top eight
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Zhang Xi and Xue Chen of China make their way to top eight on Friday

Zhang Xi and Xue Chen of China make their way to top eight on Friday. 

Zhang Xi and Xue Chen of China made their way to top eight on Friday, beating a Cuban duo in two straight sets.

So far China has two teams in top eight of Beijing Olympics beach volleyball tournament. Wang Jie/Tian Jia beat their rivals in a round of 16 match earlier Friday.

The Chinese, 1.84-meter Zhang and 1.88-meter Xue, dominated the net most of the time, downing Cuban pair Milagros Crespo/Imara Esteves Ribalta in two sets (21-19 and 21-13).

The Chinese pair has netted four FIVB World Tour gold medals and was also 2006 Asian Games champions.

Ranking fourth on the World Tour currently, the Chinese duo are also considered serious contenders for medals at the Beijing Olympics along with Tian Jia/Wang Jie.

The quarter final will be held on Sunday and the Chinese duo are to take on US duo Nicole Branagh/Elaine Youngs, which eliminated another Cuban team, Dalixia Fernandez Grasset/Tamara Larrea Peraza, earlier Friday.

Asked if they fear the US pair, 19-year-old Xue, also the youngest player in the Beijing Olympics beach volleyball tournament, said, "We don't fear them."

(Xinhua News Agency August 15, 2008)

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