Roi Et, Thailand, March 4, 2017 – Formidable Paul Burnett/Marcus Ferguson of Australia 1 smashed Thai dreams of sweeping both titles at the “SMM” 2nd Asian “Est Cola” U21 Beach Volleyball Championships after stunning the Thai top seeds Marudet Buntem/Jatoopon Saenyoot in the men’s showdown, while Thailand 3’s Pawarun Chanthawichai/Thatsarida Singchuea captured the women’s crown on Saturday.
The three-day, double-gender competition, which served as the Asian qualification round for the 2017 FIVB U21 Beach Volleyball World Championships in Nanjing, China from July 11 to 16, came to a close at the makeshift Nongyama Municipal School venue here on Saturday.
In the men’s event, a strong duo of Burnett/Ferguson proved a cut above the rest in the championships. The Aussies struggled hard to beat Thailand 3’s Konsiphong Vaikuntha-anuchit/Keattisak Naksompol in a hard-fought three-set thriller 21-13 19-21 16-14 in the semi-finals, but had an easier job in the showdown against Marudet/Jatoopon, who in the semi-finals earlier eliminated Iran 1’s Alireza Aghajani-Ghasab/Javad Firouzpourbabdpei 22-20 21-13.
The final clash saw the Aussies cover the court marvellously with a superb combination and tactics to pull off a convincing 21-17 21-13 victory over the Thailand 1’s pairing.
For Marudet, the loss in the Saturday’s final was another letdown in the tournament as he last year partnered Banlue Nakprakhong to go down to Chinese Zhao Chaowei/Tan Tingyuan to eventually claim silver medal. This time, he also claimed silver two times in a row.
In the third place playoff, Thailand 3’s Konsiphong/Keattisak overpowered Iran 1’s Aghajani-Ghasab/Firouzoourbabdpei 21-19 24-22 to take bronze medal.
Meanwhile, Thailand 3’s Pawarun Chanthawichai/Thatsarida Singchuea restored the pride of the host nation as they reigned supreme in the women’s competition following a hotly-contested final battle which ended 21-16 17-21 15-10 in favour of the Thais.
Pawarun/Thatsarida brought joy to the Thai fans as they performed brilliantly to brush off Japanese second seeds Reika Murakami/Hana Deguchi in the women’s showdown. The Japanese tried to make a strong comeback this year after they went down to Chinese Chen Jaili/Li Jiaowei in the last year’s final. Still, the Japanese suffered a similar fate as they picked up the same colour of the medal.
The third place went to Indonesians Maria Dwiningtyas/Rahayu Vitria Dwi after a sensational 21-18 21-18 win over Vanuatu’s Joe Ioti/Toko Sherysyn.
In the awards presentation, Australia 1’s Paul Burnett/Marcus Ferguson captured the men’s gold medal, with Thailand 1’s Marudet Buntem/Jatoopon Saenyoot and Thailand 3’s Konsiphong Vaikuntha-anuchit/Keattisak Naksompol taking silver and bronze medals respectively.
Thailand 3’s Pawarun Chanthawichai/Thatsarida Singchuea dominated the women’s event, followed by Japan 1’s Reika Murakami/Hana Deguchi and Indonesians Maria Dwiningtyas/Vitria Dwi Rahayu.
Top five nations from each category have secured their places at the 2017 FIVB U21 Beach Volleyball World Championships in Nanjing, China.
1. Paul Burnett/Marcus Ferguson (Australia 1)
2. Marudet Buntem/Jatoopon Saenyoot (Thailand 1)
3. Konsiphong Vaikuntha-anuchit/Keattisak Naksompol (Thailand 3)
4.Alireza Aghajani-Ghasab/Javad Firouzpourbabdpei (Iran 1)
5. Justin Schumann/Mitchessl Wakefield (Australia 2)
6.Ilham Akbar/Dimas Agung Wirachmat (Indonesia)
7. Liu Chuanyong/Tao ChengAn (China 1)
8.Yekor Dmitriyev/Yerlan Yelubayev (Kazakhstan 1)
9. Phanupong Thanan/Pichakon Narathon (Thailand 4)
10. Wu Jinsong/Lu TianYu (China 2)
11. Oman 1
12. Hong Kong 1
13. Oman 2 and Sri Lanka 1
15. Thailand 2 and Kazakhstan 2
17. Hong Kong 2; Iran 2; Sri Lanka 2; Qatar; Singapore; Maldives and Vietnam
1. Pawarun Chanthawichai/Thatsarida Singchuea (Thailand 3)
2. Reika Murakami/Hana Deguchi (Japan 1)
3. Maria Dwiningtyas/Vitria Dwi Rahayu (Indonesia)
4. Joe Ioti/Toko Sherysyn (Vanuatua)
5. Sirinuch Kawfong/Saranya Laesood (Thailand 1)
6. Kanyanee Kaewkepkham/Phatsurinyo Inchaiya (Thailand 4)
7. Cao Shuting/Wang Jiaxi (China 1)
8. Caitlin Bettenay/Rebecca Ingram (Australiai 1)
9. Kaewta Noramart/Nasuda Janmong (Thailand 2)
10. Antonia Harrison/Emma Marumaru-Flynn (New Zealand)
11. Reina Tokoku/Miyu Kikuchi (Japan 2)
12. Tsang Tsz Hung/Ng Wing Laam (Hong Kong 2)
13. Australia 2 and Vietnam
15. China 2 and Sri Lanka 2
17. Singapore; Sri Lanka 1 and Hong Kong 1.