LONDON: Chinese women’s beach volleyball pair Xue Chen and Zhang Xi powered into the Olympic quarter-finals yesterday with an easy win 21-12 21-11 win over a Russian pair that soothed the pain of their shock defeat to another Russian team in their first pool match. Surprise bronze-medallists in Beijing 2008, the Chinese women came to London with high expectations but under-performed on the first day. They have recovered their poise, as Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Khomyakova learnt to their cost. In the men’s event, Brazilian world champions Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti had no mercy for Germans Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik, defeating them by 21-16 21-14 with a relentless barrage of spikes and blocks.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2012.