Brazil has 3 teams (sort of) in beach final 4
BEIJING (AP) Carnival is coming to the Olympic beach volleyball venue, where pulsating music, sweltering heat and scantily clad dancers are making the Brazilians feel right at home.
Athens gold medalists Emanuel and Ricardo beat Americans Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal in Monday's quarterfinals to give Brazil two teams in the men's final four.
"We work hard to be at the top," Emanuel said after a 21-18, 21-16 victory put them in the final four against Marcio and Fabio. "It's always Brazil against Brazil. It's difficult."
A third men's team, Renato Gomes and Jorge Terceiro, became Georgian citizens to circumvent quotas that limit each country to two teams in the Olympic field of 24. Had they stayed home, they would have been the fifth-best team in Brazil, and failed to qualify for Beijing.
Instead, they will play Americans Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser in the other men's semifinal.
"Outside of court, they are Brazilian," Emanuel said. "But inside the court, they are Georgian."
Another Brazilian team, Talita and Renata, reached the women's semifinals and will play Americans Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. Two Chinese teams will play in the other women's semifinal.
"It's a huge, huge sport (in Brazil), and they grow up playing it," Gibb said. "You get everyone playing it, and you're going to have some good players."
Brazilian volleyball federation delegate Marco Teixeira was so excited over a previous victory that he ripped apart his own shirt, then strutted around the venue with the torn garment revealing his tanned chest. He restrained himself on Monday, but the crowds that sang and danced gave the venue a beach party atmosphere
"People are cheering. People are participating. That's why it's so beautiful," he said. "The life on the beach is a lifestyle we enjoy."
Gibb and Rosenthal matched the Brazilians at 12-all in both sets before Emanuel and Ricardo pulled away, calling on their experience to overcome ankle (Ricardo) and knee (Emanuel) injuries.
"They showed why they're the Olympic champions," Rosenthal said. "They're going to be tough to knock out. They step up big at big times."
Marcio and Fabio, the No. 2 Brazilian team, beat Florian Gosch and Alexander Horst in straight sets, 22-20, 21-17 earlier Monday. The Austrians were the No. 24 seed in the 24-team field.
Dalhausser and Rogers advanced by beating Germany 21-13, 25-23 after Eric Koreng was given the only red card so far in the Olympics. The one-point penalty broke an 8-8 tie.
"I didn't like it," Rogers said. "In a situation like this, a heated contest ... it's just not the right thing."
Koreng had gone to the referee to claim that Dalhausser had reached over the net to steal away a pass on the German side. Koreng drew a yellow card - a warning - and then a few seconds later Casutt raised the red card that added a point for the Americans.
It was just the sixth red card - men's or women's - in Olympic beach volleyball history.
"They were a little frustrated with themselves, and they were taking it out on the ref," said Rogers, who ambled over to referee Richard Casutt's net-side platform, shaking his head. "I said, I thought that's a little quick. Just a little quick on the draw."
But Koreng's partner, David Klemperer, was willing to let it go.
"It did not affect the game, so it is OK," he said. "It is about judgment. I think he tried to do his best."
The Americans will play on Wednesday against surprise semifinalist Georgia, which beat the fifth-seeded Netherlands in straight sets.
After winning 21-19, 21-19, Terceiro leapt over the fence surrounding the court and bounded through the stands to the top of the stadium, where he stood under the Georgian flag with his arms raised above his head like Rocky on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
"I remember this 'Rocky,'" Terceiro said. "I said to myself, 'If I win this match, I go meet my flag.'"
The victory by the 15th-seeded Georgians means Dalhausser and Rogers can advance to the championship game without playing a team in the medal round seeded better than eighth. Terceiro and Gomes have never beaten the Americans; but they hadn't beaten the Dutch, either.
"If this is a message," Terceiro said, "it is well said."