Favored Americans Drop Beach Volleyball Opener

BEIJING (AP) - Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, the defending beach volleyball world champions and the overwhelming favorites to win the Olympic gold medal, lost their opening match on Saturday night to a Latvian team that was seeded 23rd in the 24-team field.

The Americans, who had won 21 straight international matches, must win their next two matches in pool play to be assured of a spot in the medal round.

Martins Plavins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs, former junior world champions who are the first Latvian team to qualify for the Olympics, won 21-19, 21-18 in the best-of-three set match.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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