Olympics: Silva, França off to great start in beach volleyball.

By Dialogo
July 31, 2012

LONDON – Here’s what you might have missed from Monday’s Olympic action:

Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson: The 23-year-old native of St. Andrew finished a spot out of medaling in the 100-meter breaststroke with a fourth-place finish in 1 minute, 6.93 seconds. It was the best-ever Olympic showing by far for Atkinson, who won a swim-off for the eighth and last spot in the final after the semifinals. She also competed in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

Brazilian women's beach volleyball: Larissa França and Juliana Felisberta Silva, who are the favorites to win the gold medal, continued a strong start to their Olympics with a 21-18, 21-13 win over a Germany’s Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler on July 30. “We made a lot of mistakes, but in the end we wrapped it up,” França told reporters. “Because we are the top-ranked team in the world, we are not supposed to make mistakes.” França, a 30-year-old native of Espírito Santo and Felisberta, a 29-year-old native of Santos, have high hopes after winning the 2011 Beach Volleyball World Championships.

Brazilian women’s volleyball: In a showdown between the top two teams in the field, Brazil couldn’t overcome a slow start in a loss to the U.S. The Americans won 25-18 and 25-17 in the first two sets before Brazil took the third 25-22. The U.S. won the clincher 25-21 despite 13 kills from Brazil’s Sheila Castro, a native of Belo Horizonte.

Colombian men’s tennis player Santiago Giraldo: The native of Pereira was defeated in the second round of singles at Wimbledon. He won the first set over Steve Darcis of Belgium 7-6, but lost the next two sets, 6-4, 6-4.

Here’s what you should keep an eye on Aug. 1:

Men’s soccer: Group play continues with Brazil facing New Zealand, Honduras taking on Japan, Mexico playing Switzerland and Uruguay battling host Great Britain. Honduras is coming off a huge, 1-0 win that knocked Spain out of the medal contention.

Women’s basketball: Brazil, which has a 1-1 record in five-game group play, faces Australia. Brazil lost its last game, 69-59, to Russia, despite the 15 points scored by Erika de Souza of Rio de Janeiro.

Boxing: The round of 16 gets commences, including in a bantamweight division that features Lázaro Álvarez (Pinar Del Rio, Cuba), Robenilson Viera de Jesús (Boa Vista Do Tupim, Brazil), Óscar Valdez Fierro (Nogales, Mexico) and William Encarnación (San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic).