Thungsong, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand, April 10 – Strong teams had a field day with convincing wins over rivals, with Kazakh spikers living up to their billing as top seeds to seal victories in both the men’s and women’s events on the opening day of the 6th “Nakhon Si-Chang-Select” AVC Beach Volleyball Tour Thailand-Nakhon Si Open at Thungsong Stadium in Nakhon Si Thammarat on Thursday.
The last year’s Asian Beach Games gold medallists Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova got the three-day Thailand-Nakhon Si Open off to a brilliant start as the Kazakh top seeds outclassed Indonesia 2’s Purari Eka Yokebed and Maria Dwiningtyas in comfortable straight sets 21-14 21-7 on Thursday.
Second-seeds Takemi Nishibori and Sayaka Mizoe of Japan 1 thrashed Vietnam 2’s Nguyen Thi Thanh Tram and Pham Le Tuyet Ngan 21-9 21-18, but the Vietnamese pairing made amends by beating Singaporeans Gabrielle Gomes Chleo and Tan Shiang Theng 21-18 21-13 in their later encounter.
Third-seeds Thailand 1’s Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee, current world No.61 and silver medallists at the last year’s Incheon Asian Games in Korea and the Asian Beach Games in Phuket, Thailand, also made their mark to mercilessly crush Hong Kong 2’s To Wing Tung and Koo Yung Yung in one-sided affair 21-7 21-7.
Pursuing dreams of a successful title defence for Vanuatu, fourth seeds Miller Pata and Linlin Matauatu powered past China 2’s Wang Xinxin and Ding Jingjing 21-13 21-11. Things to get worse for the Chinese duo when they suffered the second defeat at the hands of Australia 2’s Becchara Palmer and Tamsin Hinchley 13-21 15-21.
Hopes of the host nation seem higher than ever when Thailand 2’s Rumpaipruet Numwong and Khanittha Hongpak registered successive two wins on Thursday. The Thai fifth seeds first outclassed Sri Lankans Geethika Kudakottunnage and Asha Siriwardana 21-13 21-8 to beat New Zealand 2’s Danielle Quigley and Melissa Ruru 21-18 21-17 in their later match.
In the men’s event, the Incheon Asian Games winner Alexandr Dyachenko and Alexey Sidorenko of Kazakhstan 1 faced a little problems against Asanka Madagedara Lekamalage and Pubudu Ekanayakaage to breeze past the Sri Lankans 21-13 21-12. The Kazakh top seeds remained on course following the exceptional 21-13 21-18 win over Thailand 2’s Panupong Toyam and Nuttanon Inkiew in their second match.
Second seeds Wu Jiaxin and Li Jian of China 2 tamed Hong Kong 2’s Wong Pui Lam and Lau Tsz Ho 21-15 21-15 to brush off Australia 2’s Maximillian Guehree and Zachery Schubert 21-12 21-16 in their later encounter.
Third seeds Kazakhstan 2’s Dimitriy Yakovlev and Alexey Kuleshov, who finished third in the previous edition here, pulled off a comfortable 21-17 21-13 win over Vietnam 2’s Nguyen Ba Truong Dang and Nguyen Ngoc Quy to next storm past Maldives’ Abdul Wahid Shiunaz and Anil Naseer Ahmed 21-11 21-16.
A total of 60 matches including 24 women’s encounters were due to take place on the opening day on Thursday. However, due to a large number of matches, some encounters have to take place at nighttime. Unfortunately, the blackout hit some parts of the contests at around 8pm local time and the organisers decided to postpone some matches and move them to Friday morning.
The pool play continues on Friday, with the single elimination being held later in the afternoon. The finals in both men’s and women’s events will be held on Saturday.