GB men's beach volleyball team defeated
July 30, 2012 19:05 pm
Great Britain's Steve Grotowski and John Garcia-Thompson suffered a second-straight beach volleyball defeat at Horse Guards Parade but not before putting on a valiant performance in a 2-0 loss against a strong Brazilian team.
The pairing of Ricardo Santos and Pedro Cunha simply had too much power and experience for the British duo, who now must win their final Pool F match against Norway on Wednesday and hope other results go their way if they are to avoid elimination.
The customary boisterous crowd at the 15,000-seater Westminster arena inevitably did their bit to help the British players, but the Brazilians nevertheless wrapped up a 21-17 21-12 win that sees them through to the knockout stage.
Grotowski and Garcia-Thompson were going up against a team boasting one of the legends of the game in Ricardo, who has three Olympic medals to his name - including a gold from Athens in 2004.
Nevertheless the British pair began well, surging into a 3-1 lead only to see the seventh seeds rattle off six straight points to establish a commanding edge.
Brazil continued to pull clear but Garcia-Thompson had the crowd on their feet with a superb diving dig that sailed over the heads of the South Americans to bring the set back to 12-7.
Another superb retrieval by the 33-year-old had Horse Guards jumping again as the Britons closed to within three. But despite staying in touch, the home team were unable to bridge the gap and Brazil did enough to take the first set despite a valiant effort by the Britons on set point.
Brazil took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second, however, as Ricardo's dominance at the net and on serve began to tell.
A little of the fire seemed to have gone out of the belly of the British duo, and when the scoreboard read 12-5 to Ricardo and Cunha, even the crowd became subdued.
An ace by Ricardo brought up 10 match points, and though the Britons delighted the crowd by saving two of those, defeat was not much longer in coming.
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