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Beach Volleyball Gold Medal Matches Set For Today

VolleyballLOS ANGELES (CNS) – Competition will conclude today in beach volleyball at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, with two men’s teams from Finland and women’s teams from Cuba and Costa Rica meeting at Alamitos Beach in Long Beach for the gold medals.

“It will be fun for our two teams to play against each other because either way Finland wins,” said Nea Nieminen, Special Olympics Finland’s beach volleyball coach. “It’s going to be a battle.”

Finland’s Team 2 won all four matches and didn’t lose a single set during two days of pool play competition while Finland’s Team 1’s only loss was to Finland Team 2.

The Cuba team received a surprise Monday night after playing without official jerseys for the first three days of competition due to a lack of funding. What a Special Olympics World Games official described as “a local friend of the team” sent it blue jerseys with the Special Olympics Cuba logo on it so the athletes could feel like a team.

The men’s match is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. and the women’s match at 3:30 p.m.

This is the first time beach volleyball has been an official sport at the Special Olympics World Games. Beach volleyball was introduced to the Special Olympics World Games in 2011 as an exhibition sport. Teams play four-on- four.

There will also be medal events in cycling at Alamitos Beach.

Medal events will also be held today in powerlifting, roller skating, table tennis and the Italian sport of bocce at the Los Angeles Convention Center; equestrian sports at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Griffith Park; judo at UCLA; and swimming and track and field at USC.

Competition will also be held in badminton and team handball at the Los Angeles Convention Center; basketball at USC; bowling at the Lucky Strike Lanes at L.A. Live; golf on the Wilson and Harding courses at Griffith Park; kayaking at Marine Stadium in Long Beach; sailing off Belmont Pier in Long Beach; soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball at UCLA; and soccer at the Balboa Sports Center in Encino.

Before the start of Tuesday’s 400-meter men’s freestyle swimming relay, the Hungarian team was in danger of being disqualified because it did not have matching caps. Kamilah Williamson of Spokane, Washington, was standing next to Attila Princz of Hungary, then ran to grab an extra black cap she had and gave it to Princz, an official said.

“That cap is what the spirit of the Games is,” U.S. coach Gene Fitch said. “As silly as it is, this is what made the difference for the Hungarian team. What she did shows true sportsmanship and what the Games are all about.”

With warm weather forecast throughout Southern California and most spectator seating in outdoor venues not shaded, officials are advising spectators to take precautions to handle the heat including:

— drinking more fluids;

— spending some time in the shade to cool off;

— wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun; and

— wear sunscreen, with SPF 15 or higher recommended.

Admission is free to all events.

Competition will continue through Saturday. The closing ceremony will be held Sunday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The competition set to begin at 8:30 a.m. For more information, the Special Olympics World Games media operations office can be reached at (213) 743-6240.

in Sports
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