Stringers Lead Georgia To Victory in Volleyball

APSantanna and Martins hugging after their volleyball victory on Wednesday.
BEIJING -- The Brazilians who represent Georgia in Olympic women's beach volleyball rejoiced in a win against Russia on Wednesday, while the Russians criticized the media for trying to escalate the conflict between their nations.

The Georgian team rallied from a sloppy 21-10 loss in the first set to win the next two, 22-20 and 15-12, beating Alexandra Shiryaeva and Natalya Uryadova

Dozens of reporters turned up at the pool match between the two and mobbed the players afterward for comments on this weeks' bloody clashes between Russia and Georgia.

"My message is that I give all my strength here. I'm fighting for you as you are fighting there," said Cristine "Saka" Santanna while her partner Andrezza "Rtvelo" Martins said it was "important to show Georgia in a good light right now."

The Brazilians took dual citizenship in Georgia two years ago and have visited the former Soviet state twice. Their nicknames match their new status -- Sakartvelo means "Georgia" in Georgian.

The Russian team was dismissive of the political importance of the match, which eliminated them from the Olympics.

"[The media] want us to fight together. It would be good to have peace between Georgia and Russia but for me, here and now, it doesn't matter," Shiryaeva said.

"They're not from Georgia. They're Brazilian. It doesn't matter whom we play, we just play."

Georgia and Russia have agreed in principle to a EU-brokered peace plan over the region of South Ossetia.