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Phoenix-native Olympian Sarah Sponcil makes Olympic history as family, friends watch from home

Sponcil and her teammate, Kelly Claes, won the fastest Olympic women's beach volleyball match ever in the sport's current format.

TOKYO, Japan — A Phoenix-native is making history in more ways than one at the Tokyo Olympics.

Valley-born Olympian Sarah Sponcil and her partner, Kelly Claes, won the fastest Olympic match of women's beach volleyball ever since the International Olympics Committee adopted the sport's current format, according to the Associated Press.

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The two beat the women's team from Kenya in just 25 minutes, setting a new Olympic time record. They scored 21-8 during the first set and 21-6 in the second set.

The match against Kenya was the pair's second win in Tokyo, moving to the top of their group with another preliminary match coming up against Brazil.

Sponcil, 24, and Claes, 25, are also the youngest beach volleyball pair to ever compete for Team USA.

While the team is breaking records in Tokyo, Sponcil's family and friends were here in Phoenix cheering her on, including another Phoenix-based Olympic athlete.

"It's been so cool to see Sarah progress and see her at the highest level in the world of sports," Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo said at the watch party with the Sponcil family.

Cejudo won the gold medal back in wrestling during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He is currently training and fighting in mixed martial arts out of Phoenix.

"Watching her and seeing it through her parents and her sister's eyes, it's priceless to me," Cejudo said. 

Before Sponcil left for Tokyo, Cejudo said he gave her some tips on what the Olympics could bring and how she would need to prioritize her dreams and goals.

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Sponcil and Claes' next match against Brazil will be played Friday at 5 p.m. Stream the match live on the NBC Olympics website here.

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