Two beach volleyball pairs set for Beijing

The beach volleyball pair Thalia Koutroumanidou and Yianna Tsiartsiani will definitely represent Greece at the Olympic Games this August, having secured their spot yesterday during a tournament in Norway. The two Greeks, the second pair from this country to be going to this summer’s Olympics following the qualification of Vasso Karadassiou and Vicky Arvaniti, have now collected enough points after beating Brazil’s Maria Clara Salgado Rufino and Carol Salgado in the first round proper of the Grand Slam tournament being held at Stavanger, Norway. The Greeks defeated their opponents 2-1 (23-21, 18-21, 15-12) and have reached the top 16 of the tournament. «The team has now been lifted psychologically and has shown what it can really do,» said national coach Manolis Roumeliotis. «They have secured Beijing, which is what they had wanted so much,» he added. Karadassiou and Arvaniti have joined them in the second round of the Stavanger tournament, after eliminating local favorites Kathrine Maaseide and Susanne Glesnes with a 2-1 win (17-21, 21-18, 15-13). The progress of the two pairs in the Grand Slam tournament means they will not feature in this weekend’s Greek Masters tournament at Tsilivi Beach, Zakynthos.