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U.S. gold favorites make it through to men's beach volleyball semifinals
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Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser of the United States earned a berth in the last four of men's beach volleyball tournament at the Beijing Olympics on Monday.

The gold favorites edged out German pair David Klemperer and Eric Koreng in straight sets (21-13,25-23).

The Americans took the first set 21-13 and reached the match point 20-18 in the second set at first. The Germans were able to fire back and trade match points with their rivals to 23-23 before the U.S. team ended the set 25-23 in their favor.

The Germans, for the first time at the Olympics, said they were happy with the fifth place at the Olympics.

"We made a lot of risks in serving in the first set, in the second set we changed tactics and the result was better. We could have done better but we lost finally," said Klemperer after the match.

"But we're satisfied with the result. We played against the world champions, and it was a very close match," he said.

Both Rogers and Dalhausser said they were satisfied with their performance in the match.

He played well in side-outs and blocks in the match, said the 2.06-meter Dalhausser."I'm happy with the match," he said.

The U.S. duo is considered Beijing Olympics gold favorites for their momentum of winning in prominent competitions in the past two years. They also won the FIVB World Championships in Gstaad, Switzerland in 2007 and were five-time FIVB World Tour gold medalists.

With a 21-match winning streak this year, the U.S. duo entered the Beijing Olympics and were placed first on the Olympic qualification rankings.

Dalhausser was FIVB World Tour best blocker in 2006 and 2007 and best hitter in 2007 while his partner was best FIVB World Tour defensive player in 2006 and 2007.

The Americans are 1-1 this year against Brazilians Emanuel Ricardo and Ricardo Santos, the defending Olympic champions.

(Xinhua News Agency August 18, 2008)

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