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FRUSTRATING DAY FOR AUSTRALIANS AT COPACABANA BEACH

Australia’s top women’s beach volleyball team of Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy had a frustrating opening day on the sands of Copacabana Beach at the Rio Grand Slam.

And world U23 champions Nikki Laird and Mariafe Artacho del Solar also lost both their matches after cruising through qualifying 24 hours earlier.

Bawden and Clancy, the event sixth seeds, started positively in both their pool matches before being overrun in three sets.

They took the opening set 21-18 over German 27th seeds, Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude, before losing the next two 16-21, 12-15.

In their second pool match against Chinese 22nd seeds Fan Wang and Yuan Yue, Bawden and Clancy once again started strongly, winning the opening set 21-17, before dropping the next two 17-21, 13-15.

Laird and Artacho del Solar have found themselves in a tough group in Rio, but put up a strong fight against Canadian third seeds Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley, before losing 17-21, 21-18, 15-10.

German 14th seeds Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler proved too strong for the Australians, 21-16, 21-17 in their final match of the day.

Both Australian teams will have their final pool matches tomorrow morning, with both still an outside chance of progressing to the next round if they post strong wins.