Except a Georgian duo, men's beach volleyball semifinals of the Beijing Olympics will be battles where most of the participants are Brazilians and Americans.
After Monday's quarterfinals, Brazil has earned two berths in top four and the United States was able to send one team to compete in the semifinal.
Unlike in some of previous matches where US gold favorites Todd Rogers/Phil Dalhausser had to come from behind to win a match, the Americans proved on Monday they were improving their shape, eliminating David Klemperer/Eric Koreng of Germany free of breath-taking moments. They won 2-0 (21-13, 25-23).
However, their fellow Americans, Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal, failed to join the final four. They encountered defending champions, Ricardo Santos/Emanuel Rego of Brazil and were downed by the Brazilians as expected.
The Brazilian duo proved serious defending champions in the match and played more solid compared with their performance in the round of 16 when they were once on the brink of being eliminated. They edged out the American duo 2-0 (21-18, 21-16).
Another Brazilian duo, Marcio Araujo/Fabio Luiz Magalhaes, also made their way to the semifinal, beating Florian Gosch/Alexander Horst of Austria.
The two Brazilians led Austrians to end the first set 22-20 and the second set went a more comfortable 21-17 in favor of the South Americans.
Brazil has clinched at least a silver medal as the two Brazilian men's duos will meet in the semifinal.
Emanuel Rego said it was important to secure a berth for his home country in the final and who will represent Brazil was secondary.
"It's important that a Brazilian team is in the final. You know it's very difficult to enter the final," Rego said after the match.
He declined to forecast which Brazilian duo will be the winner in the All-Brazilian duel.
"It's always difficult for both of the two sides when two Brazilian teams play against each other," he said.
Georgians made a breakthrough on Monday as the country had its first team in the semifinal at an Olympics as Renato "Geor" Gomes and Jorge "Gia" Terceiro eliminated higher-ranked Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil of the Netherlands in straight sets (21-19, 21-19).
Terceiro was overjoyed that he took a special way to celebrate the victory.
Soon after the last winning point was made, he got across the rail and ran to the top of the spectators stand, standing below the national flag of Georgia and stretching both his arms.
(Xinhua News Agency August 19, 2008)