Songkhla, Thailand, April 16, 2017 – Indonesians Ade Candra Rachmawan /Mohammad Ashfiya stunned Australian top seeds Chris McHugh /Damien Schumann in straight sets to advance to the men’s final, as Australians Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy set up a rematch of the last week’s Pak Bara Master final with Chinese Wang Fan/Yue Yuan in the women’s showdown of the SMM 18th Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships at Samila Beach.
In the men’s semi-finals on Sunday, Indonesians Candra/Asfiya stormed their ways into the final for two times in a row in Thailand. Last week, they also made it to the final of the Pak Bara Master in Satun, only beaten by Qataris Jefferson Pereira and Cherif Yunousse in the comfortable final clash.
Candra/Asfiya earlier got a sweet revenge against Pereira and Yunousse, to whom they lost in easy final match at the Pak Bara Master, to pull off a thrilling three-set 21-17, 7-21, 15-13 win over the Qataris in the quarter-finals. The Indonesians later defied against all odds to overpower Australian top seeds McHugh/Schumann in straight sets 21-18, 21-16 in the semi-finals. Candra/Asfiya will next go up against Iranians Rahman Raoufi/Bahman Salemiinjehboroun in the showdown.
“Iran are very strong, but I believe in my team. They have been playing very well in this tournament. They have determination to win. I will give some strategies for them to play Iran in the final tomorrow,” said Indonesian coach.
Iran 1’s Raoufi /Salemi, who thrashed China 1’s Ha Likejiang/Bao Jian in a one-sided battle 21-11, 21-15 in the morning’s quarter-finals, continued their incredible streak to beat Julio/Ahmed of Qatar in an epic three-set thriller 27-29, 22-20, 15-10.
“This is the best Qatar team.They already played in the Olympics, but we just beat them at the Pak Bara Master tournament last week. It is so special for us to beat the Olympians. I would like to thank the Thai supporters who helped us a lot with their enthusiastic cheers and finally we came back into our game in the second set and the last one. People here are very kind and friendly. Whenever I play in Thailand, I’ve always finished among the top three teams,”said Rahman Raoufi.
“Tomorrow is going to be a very tough match. Indonesia are very strong. We will go back to get some rest in order to get ready for the big fight,” he added.
Australians Chris McHugh/Damien Schumann will take on Julio Nascimento/Ahmed Tijan in the third-place playoff.
Meanwhile, in the women’s semi-finals, Australia 2’s Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy, who trounced Polley/Wills of New Zealand in straight sets 21-10, 21-10 in the round of the last eight teams, proved too strong for Bell/Laird to beat the compatriots 21-14, 21-14 in the all-Australians affair. Bawden/Clancy now look forward to a revenge match against Chinese Wang Fan/Yue Yuan, to whom they lost in the final clash at the last week’s Pak Bara Master in Satun. Wang/Yue overcame a strong challenge from Dhita Juliana/Putu Utami to beat the Indonesian pairing in straight sets 21-16, 21-18.
“It is a little bit nervous that we played against two country fellow in this round. It was very difficult to play them today. We stayed focused and intimidated with the serves and second ball attacks,” Taliqua Clancy said.
“I think we have a chance against China tomorrow. We have been training very hard this week. We have to bring our best and play aggressive games. We have to concentrate what we are preparing to do and enjoy the opportunity to play for the gold medal. Hopefully, we will finish on top of the podium,” added Clancy, who has teamed up with her partner Louise Bawden for five years since the end of 2012.
In the bronze-medal match earlier, Indonesia 1’s Dhita Juliana/Putu Utami will challenge Australia 1’s Phoebe Bell/Nicole Laird.
The four-day tournament will come to a complete conclusion on Monday. The bronze medal matches and final showdowns in both men’s and women’s events will take place in the afternoon, followed by the awards presentation and the closing ceremony
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