THERE is a slim glimmer of hope Australian beach volleyball duo Tamsin Hinchley and Natalie Cook can keep their Olympic campaign alive.
They must secure a big win against Czech rivals Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova under lights at Horse Guards Parade in central London, tomorrow morning (AEST).
Ballarat’s Hinchley and partner Cook are ranked fourth in their pool after narrow losses to the United States and Austria. Beating the Czech Republic heavily is their only chance to progress by finishing second on a points count-back or as a lucky third-place getter.
The Australians must regroup quickly after squandering a series of match points in a three-set loss to Austrian sisters Stefanie and Doris Schwaiger yesterday.
Hinchley and Cook were in control, taking the first set 21-18 and winning three match points in the second before the Schwaiger sisters won five straight points to take the set 22-20.
The rivals kept momentum and jumped the Australians 5-1 early in the third and while Hinchley and Cook fought back hard to level at six-all, the Austrians again surged ahead and claimed the match 15-10 in the third.
An emotional Hinchley was devastated to not win for family and friends who had travelled to London and supported them on their tough road to the Games.
“We worked so hard to get here and we had the game and did everything we needed to but they came back strong with their serve and we couldn’t finish them off,” Hinchley said.
Hinchley and Cook had been hoping to rebound strong from a high-scoring and hard-fought clash against America’s reigning dual Olympic champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, which the United States won 21-18, 21-19 on day one.