Monday, May 26, 2008

Beijing 2008: Beach Volleyball

With the others bickering over the more prominent ball sports such as Baseball and Basketball, to me the real ball sports are those best played by hot women in tight, skimpy outfits - and I think a few guys might play as well.

Beach volleyball was introduced into the Olympics in 1992 and has been an official Olympic sport since 1996 (not the 2000 Sydney games).

Here's the low down:
* 24 Teams participate in each event (mens and womens)
* Teams qualify by accumulating points in FIVB olympic qualification tournaments
* 1 Host nation team is prequalified
* At most 2 teams from any country may qualify not including the prequalified host team
* In the event of an unrepresented continent, the top team from that continent will qualify
* Each team is 2 and only 2 players, no subs
* Teams are divided into 6 pools of 4 teams
* Top 16 teams after pool round participate in an elimination tournament with a play off for third

USA and Brazil have dominated the medal tally winning 5 out of the 6 gold medals on offer since the Atlanta games. The sport rose to fame on the gold medal winning efforts of Natalie Portman and Kerri Pottharst in the Sydney games who had won bronze at the previous Atlanta games.

Natalie Cook is still on the scene and no doubt will get plenty of press and interviews come closer to the games and during. She has brought in some youth in the form 193cm former indoor Olympist, Tamsin Barnett.
Tamsin definitely won't be the ugliest Olympic athlete in Beijing - my pick is one of the shotput or hammer throw girls.

Reasons to watch are obvious, and the game is pretty good as well. While you may be on the edge of your seat hoping for a nipple slip or the likes, the fast pace, quick scoring will hold your attention to the end of the match and potentially for the entire games.

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