LONDON (Reuters) - World champions Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti of Brazil beat Latvians Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins in their men's beach volleyball semi-final on Tuesday, paving the way for Emanuel to attempt to recapture gold after eight years.
The 39-year-old Brazilian is competing in his fifth Olympics, having won medals in the last two. With former team mate Ricardo Santos, Emanuel won gold in Athens in 2004 and bronze in Beijing in 2008.
Plavins and Smedins, who have never won a tournament together, enjoyed a terrific run of form at the London Games. They upset Americans Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal in the quarter-finals, ending U.S. participation in the men's event at an unusually early stage.
But the Latvians could not get the better of the agile Emanuel and the powerful Alison, who have dominated the sport since they teamed up three years ago.
The Brazilians won the first set easily. The Latvians enjoyed more success in the second set and the world champions needed two match points to finish them off.
The final score was two sets to nil (21-15 22-20). Sets are normally played to 21 points but a two-point advantage is needed to win.
In the other men's semi-final, scheduled for 2200 GMT, German former world champions Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann will take on Dutchmen Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil.
The men's final is on Thursday.
(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Michael Holden)