LONDON — Three American teams finished the beach volleyball round-robin atop their pools, and defending world champions Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti of Brazil struggled through an extended first set to beat Italy on Thursday and win their pool at the London Olympics.
The Brazilians beat Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo 26-24, 21-18.
Thursday was the final day of the preliminary round. The top two teams in each four-person pool advance, with the best third-place teams relegated to a lucky loser round later Thursday.
Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross finished 3-0 with a 21-19, 19-21, 19-17 victory over Spain. Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor finished their pool play with a No. 1 seed on Wednesday, as did Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal. Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser were scheduled to play later Thursday night.
In other action, Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins of Latvia beat Reinder Nummerdor and Rich Schuil of the Netherlands in a matchup of unbeatens. Both teams advanced to the knockout round.
Spain beat Japan 21-19, 22-20, and Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik of Germany beat Venezuela 20-22, 21-16, 15-11.
Marleen van Iersel and Sanne Keizer of the Netherlands beat Ana Gallay and Maria Virginia Zonta of Argentina. The Dutch advanced to the knockout round and the Argentines were eliminated.
Italy beat Canada to knock them out of the tournament and Germany beat Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel of the Netherlands in straight sets. Russia beat host Britain in straight sets to knock them out as well.
Maria Antonelli and Talita Antunes of Brazil beat Becchara Palmer and Louise Bawden of Australia, 18-21, 21-16, 15-9.