Songkhla, Thailand, April 15, 2017 – Australian top seeds Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann advanced to the quarter-finals following a straight-set victory over Japan1’s Takahashi Takumi/Katsuhiro Shiratori, while women’s top seeds Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee of Thailand crashed out of the round of the last 16 on the second day of the SMM 18th Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships at Samila Beach on Saturday.
In the men’s competition, McHugh and Schumann went on their remarkable unbeaten run as they thrashed Japanese Takahashi/Katsuhiro in straight sets 21-16 21-14 in the round of 16. The win handed McHugh/Damien a quarter-final berth, where they are due to challenge home favorites Nuttanon Inkeaw /Sedtawat Padsawub.
“It was a good match that we beat Japan. It was a tough game but I am very happy the way we played. We look forward to a tough game against Thailand on Sunday. We hope we will have an opportunity to play in the semi-finals,” said McHugh.
The Pak Bara Master gold medalists Jefferson Santos Pereira/Cherif Younousse were on the right track to capture another title in Thailand. The Qataris on Saturday struggled hard to defeat the Japanese duo in a hard-fought three set thriller 21-12, 16-21, 15-10. It will be the rematch of the Pak Bara Master final when the Qatari pairing will next face old foes Candra Rachmawan /Mohammad Asfiya of Indonesia, who dispatched Sri Lankans Asanka/Yapa 2-0 (21-16,21-13).
“We had a tough match against Japan today. It was very hard for every team as we just completed the last tournament at Satun. It was very difficult for us to go to the quarter-finals. We have to save some energy for the next round,” Jefferson said after the match.
“I think the champions in this tournament will be the ones who have more energy left in their tanks because every team seems to be very exhausted. Our key to victory today is we tried to be patient. We started well in the first set, but we missed some easy balls in the second set. In the third set we tried to regroup again and stop doing the same mistakes and then we won,” he added.
Qatar1’s Julio Do Nascimento /Ahmed Tijan Janko continued their dazzling performance by defeating Chinese Li Zhuoxin/W. Zhou 21-15, 21-11 to next play Indonesian 2’s Gilang/Danang, who beat Australia 2’s Durant/Schubert 21-15, 21-17.
In the other men’s encounter, local hopefuls Nuttanon/Sedtawat also had a marvellous second day performance following their three-set win over Kazakhs Dimistriy Yakovlev/Alexey Kuleshov 2-1 (17-21, 21-15, 15-9). The Thai duo will next challenge the tournament’s top seeds McHugh/Damien in the quarter-finals.
“We feel really tired because we have played many matches in a row. That is why we did not start well in the first set. In the second set we used our experience to control the game as we used to play them before. Against Australia tomorrow, we will try our best as we have nothing to lose,” said Nattanon.
In the women’s category,Thailand 1’s Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee, gold medallists at the last year’s Danang-hosted Asian Beach Games in Vietnam and bronze medallists at the Pak Bara Master, suffered a shock 1-2 defeat to Japan’s Yukako Suzuki/Miki Ishii 21-15, 16-21, 12-15 to give the Japanese duo a berth in the quarter-final clash against Indonesians Putu Utami/Dhita Juliana, who beat Joe/Matauatu of Vanuatu in three sets 2-1 ( 22-20, 14-21, 15-11).
However, the host nation enjoyed a mixed fortune on Saturday when Thailand 2’s Rumpaipruet Numwong/Khanittha Hongpak did not make the Thai fans disappointed when they overcame a tough challenge from the Aussies Ngauamo/Palmer in thrilling three sets 2-1 (17-21, 21-19, 15-13).
The Thai tandem will next play Australia 1’s Phoebe Bell/Nicole Laird, who dispatched Thailand 3’s Khantarak/Laosaengsa in a comfortable straight-set 21-13, 21-15 win.
Kazakhs Tatyana Mashkova /Bakhtygul Samalikova also advanced to the quarter-finals when they stormed past Tilley/Bain of New Zealand in straight sets 21-18, 21-12 to next face the Pak Bara gold medallists Wang Fan/Yue Yuan of China, who eased past Japan’s Mizoe/Hashimoto 2-0 (21-16 21-14).
“It was quite difficult for us today as we tried very hard in order to win this match. We will play China 1 tomorrow. I think it is going to be a very tough match because they just won the tournament last week. They are a very strong team, but we will try our best to beat them tomorrow,” said Mashkova.
Australians Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy, silver medallists at the last week’s Pak Bara Master, also cruised to the quarter-finals following their convincing straight-set win over Hasegawa/Futami of Japan. The powerful Aussies are scheduled to challenge New Zealand’s Shaunna Polley /Kelsie Wills, who eliminated Kazakhstan 2’s Tsimbalova/Nikitina 2-0(21-16, 21-14).
“It was a tough game against Japan today. It was very important that we were ready for their strong serves. They were a very good serving team so we struggled a bit in passing. They did a very good job in their side-outs, so we had to take advantage and created the pressure on their offense,” said Clancy.
“We are happy to play in the quarter-finals. Against New Zealand tomorrow, we have to play our game and make sure that we will play our best. We played them last time so we have a little bit information about them. We are ready for a big fight,” she added.
The women’s quarter-finals kick off at 9am on Sunday, with the men’s event being held at 10pm. The semi-finals contests will take place in the afternoon.
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