Beach Teams Ready For Youth Olympics
NANJING, China (Aug. 15, 2014) - On the eve of the opening of the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics on Saturday, the pool compositions and match schedules for the preliminary rounds of the inaugural beach volleyball event were determined on Friday.
The 36 teams in each gender were split into six pools of six. Each team will play against the five other teams in the pool. The top four will qualify for the knock-out phase. The Preliminary Round starts runs from Sunday to Thursday, with one match every day.
In the men’s competition, Torey “T.J.” DeFalco (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Louis Richard (Redondo Beach, Calif.) were drawn in Pool F, alongside Austria, Indonesia, Poland, Rwanda and Venezuela.
“We’re jumping at the bit to get going and start competing,” U.S. coach Jon Aharoni said. “Our legs are finally coming off the plane and we’re starting to feel good. Every team is good. We always say that in order to be a great team you need to experience great teams. So we like our pool. You have to beat everyone to win the tournament. We are ready to go.”
In the women’s bracket, Skylar Caputo (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Suzanne “Zana” Muno (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) will play against Brazil, Czech Republic, Sierra Leone, Switzerland and Vietnam.
“Our pool is very competitive,” U.S. coach Barbra Fontana said after the drawing of lots, “but it’s good to have very competitive games in the pool so that we get ready for the playoffs.
“Our pool is very strong. We have four teams in our pool who were in top 10 at World Championships two weeks ago so we know we need to play well. In order to win the event, you have to be able to beat every team.
“All the teams here are very good as every country is sending its best athletes. So we look forward to competing against all the top teams.”
The Youth Olympic Games are an international multi-sport event held in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee that take place every year consistent with the current format of the Olympic Games. There is an expected 3,800 athletes from 204 nations competing in the event. The U.S. will be represented by 93 athletes in 22 disciplines across 20 sports.
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