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Page last updated at 10:34 GMT, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 11:34 UK

Georgia beat Russia in volleyball

(l-r) Georgia's Andrezza Chagas, Russia's Alexandra Shiryaeva, Russia's Natalya Uryadova and Georgia's Cristine Santanna embrace before their game
Georgia and Russia players embrace before the start of their match

Georgia's Brazil-born players beat Russia in a beach volleyball game that turned sour after the recent fighting between the two countries.

Christine Santanna and Andrezza Chagas took up an invitation to represent Georgia after missing out on Olympic qualification for their native Brazil.

The Russians accused their opponents of parading under a flag of convenience after losing 21-10 20-22 12-15.

But Santanna countered: "I don't want this to be a war between us."

Georgia and Russia called an uneasy truce in the disputed border region of South Ossetia just hours before the beach volleyball contest.

Some 100,000 people are estimated to have been displaced by the conflict, which has created huge tensions in international relations.

The competitors embraced as they entered the arena, but the atmosphere turned sour as Georgia recovered from a set down to triumph.

After the match, Russia's Natalia Uryadova said: "We were not playing against the Georgian team today.

"If they are Georgian they would certainly have been influenced (by world events), but certainly they are not."

Uryadova's team-mate Alexandra Shiryaeva added: "Of course they're not Georgian. They don't even know who the Georgian president is."

Santanna retorted: "Of course I know who the president is.

"It's Mikhail Saakashvili, and I was with his wife here two days ago in the (Olympic) Village.

"I feel Georgian. I've got a Georgian and a Brazilian passport and we did this for the Georgian people. I really didn't want this situation between the players. I respect them."

Georgian beach volleyball leader Levan Akhtulediani added: "It's better to compete on the field rather than outside the field."

Two days ago, the small Georgian team voted to withdraw from the Games because of the events in their homeland but they were persuaded to stay by their president.

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Volleyball medals table

Sunday, 24 August 2008 10:17 UK
Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze TOTAL
1 also show each event results forBrazil 1 1 0 2
Men 0 1 0
Women 1 0 0
2 also show each event results forUSA 1 1 0 2
Men 1 0 0
Women 0 1 0
3 also show each event results forChina 0 0 1 1
Women 0 0 1
4 also show each event results forRussia 0 0 1 1
Men 0 0 1

see also
US duo on course to defend title
12 Aug 08 |  Volleyball
Olympics blog
07 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Beijing 2008
14 Feb 08 |  Olympics

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