Georgian, Russian volleyballers embrace at Beijing Olympics
www.chinaview.cn 2008-08-13 19:12:35   Print

    BEIJING, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Russian and Georgian women beach volleyballers embraced on the Olympic sands on Wednesday despite the crisis between their two countries.

    Andrezza Chagas and Cristine Santanna of Georgia crossed under the net to embrace with their Russian adversaries, Natalia Uryadova and Alexandra Shiryaeva, before the match at Chaoyang Park.

Andrezza Chagas of Georgia saves the ball during the women's preliminary pool C match against Russian players of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games beach volleyball event in Beijing, China, Aug. 13, 2008. Cristine Santanna and Andrezza Chagas of Georgia won the match 2-1.

Andrezza Chagas of Georgia saves the ball during the women's preliminary pool C match against Russian players of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games beach volleyball event in Beijing, China, Aug. 13, 2008. Cristine Santanna and Andrezza Chagas of Georgia won the match 2-1. (Xinhua Photo)
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    The two sides shook hands after the contest as Georgia ousted Russia from the women's beach volleyball competition.

    "I am very unsatisfied with the results, but the Georgian team really played well. Their levels are rising very fast recently," said Shiryaeva. "Definitely I hope for peace. We do not want other things to influence the match."

    A Russian spectator named Natasha said she wasn't sad about the loss. "The charm of the Games is that before the match you never know who will win. Players of both sides competed in a friendly atmosphere. It was really unforgettable."

    Stefan Volk, a German spectator who teaches volleyball in his home country, said the war and the contest should be separated. "I don't like war, especially as a German."

    "Mankind has suffered too much from wars in the 21st century. We need peace," he said.

Alexandra Shiryaeva of Russia digs during the women's preliminary pool C match against Georgia players of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games beach volleyball event in Beijing, China, Aug. 13, 2008. Cristine Santanna and Andrezza Chagas of Georgia won the match 2-1.

Alexandra Shiryaeva of Russia digs during the women's preliminary pool C match against Georgia players of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games beach volleyball event in Beijing, China, Aug. 13, 2008. Cristine Santanna and Andrezza Chagas of Georgia won the match 2-1.(Xinhua Photo)
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    The match was of symbolic significance due to the conflict between the two neighbors. Georgia began military action against South Ossetia's forces last week in an attempt to re-establish control over the region. In response, Russian troops moved into the region to fight the Georgian forces.

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced on Tuesday an end to military operations in South Ossetia.

    Both Georgia and Russia have assured the International Olympic Committee (IOC) they would remain at the Beijing Olympic Games.

    Russian and Georgian athletes also met in the women's 10 meters air pistol event on Aug. 9. Russia's Natalia Paderina took silver ahead of Georgia's Nino Salukvadze with a bronze. Both shooters enjoyed a warm embrace on the medal podium.
 
Alexandra Shiryaeva of Russia falls down during the women's preliminary pool C match against Georgia players of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games beach volleyball event in Beijing, China, Aug. 13, 2008. Cristine Santanna and Andrezza Chagas of Georgia won the match 2-1.

Alexandra Shiryaeva of Russia falls down during the women's preliminary pool C match against Georgia players of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games beach volleyball event in Beijing, China, Aug. 13, 2008. Cristine Santanna and Andrezza Chagas of Georgia won the match 2-1.(Xinhua Photo)
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A player falls during the women's preliminary pool C match between Cristine Santanna and Andrezza Chagas of Georgia and Russia's Alexandra Shiryaeva and Natalia Uryadova of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games beach volleyball event in Beijing, China, Aug. 13, 2008. Cristine Santanna and Andrezza Chagas of Georgia won the match 2-1.

A player falls during the women's preliminary pool C match between Cristine Santanna and Andrezza Chagas of Georgia and Russia's Alexandra Shiryaeva and Natalia Uryadova of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games beach volleyball event in Beijing, China, Aug. 13, 2008. Cristine Santanna and Andrezza Chagas of Georgia won the match 2-1.(Xinhua Photo)
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Editor: Xinhuanet
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