Sunday, August 10, 2008

U.S. Women Defending Volleyball Championship

Defending champions Misty Kerri Walsh and May-Treanor shook off the rain and sailed through the first pool match of the women's beach volleyball on Sunday.

The Japanese put the three-time world champions through their paces, though, forcing long rallies that tested their range of strategies, from Walsh's towering blocks to May-Treanor's stinging serves and spikes.

The American pair beat Japan's Mika Teru Saiki and Chiaki Kusuhara 21-12, 21-15 in a speedy 36 minutes, showing just why they are favorites to become the first team to defend an Olympic beach volleyball title.

May-Treanor (who with Walsh did not drop a match in Athens) said, “It felt good out there, it was our first time on centre. However, it’s so humid it was kind of hard to get your breath back in long rallies”.

Temperatures in the 12,200-seater Chaoyang Park stadium floated around the mid-30s on Saturday but on Sunday dropped to 28 degrees Celsius (82F), with rain pouring throughout the match and 87 percent humidity. May-Treanor wears bikini because she want to get wet. The American pair plays so much in humidity and sun it is actually fun to get rain sometimes.

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