Palembang, Indonesia, October 21, 2017 – Title-hotshots Mariafe Artacho Del Solar/Taliqua Clancy from Australia moved a step closer to winning three titles in a row within one month as the formidable duo powered past Indonesia’s hopefuls Dhita Juliana/Putu Utami to book a semi-final berth at the 6th South Sumatera Governor Cup AVC Beach Volleyball Tour Palembang Open at Jakabaring on Saturday.
Earlier this month, Artacho Del Solar/Clancy captured the women’s title at the Asian Beach Tour Grand Front Osaka Open in Japan before repeating the similar feat following their scintillating win at the World Tour Qinzhou Open in China.
In the Grand Front Osaka Open final rematch on Saturday, Artacho Del Solar/Clancy still proved their superiority over arch rivals Dhita/Putu to thrash the Indonesians in a straight-set battle 21-14 21-9 in the quarter-finals of the Palembang Open, a test event for Asian teams prior to their tough task at the next year’s 18th Asian Games in Indonesia, which will be held here at the Palembang’s landmark stadium of Jakabaring.
The Australian tandem will next take on former Asian Beach Games champions Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee from Thailand in the Sunday’s semi-finals. Varapatsorn/Tanarattha, who took silver medal at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Korea, outclassed Japanese Sayaka Mizoe/Suzuka Hashimoto 21-17 21-18 in another quarter-final encounter.
The other semi-final clash in the women’s event on Sunday sees Kazakhstan’s Tatyana Mashkova/Bakhtygul Samalikova challenge Japanese Megumi Murakami/Miki Ishii. The former overpowered Australians Louise Bawden/Jessyka Ngaumo 21-17 21-19 and the latter outclassed Thailand’s Rumpaipruet Numwong/Khanittha Hongpak 21-15 21-16.
In the men’s competition, two Qatari pairings made it to the semi-finals of the four-day, double-gender competition, but unfortunately, they have to battle it out in an all-Qataris encounter.
In the Saturday’s matches, Qatar’s Cherif Samba Younousse/Ahmed Tijan Janko stunned Omanis Haitham Al Shereiqi/Ahmed Al Housni 21-13 21-16 and later on pulled off a surprise 21-18 21-14 win over Australians Cole Durant/Paul Burnett, while another Qatari duo of Jefferson Santos Pereira/Julio Junior Do Nascimento also took two successive wins. They first defeated Thailand’s Surin Jongklang/Adisorn Khaolumtarn 21-15 21-15 before thrashing New Zealand’s Michael Watson/Tom Hartles 21-17 21-16.
At the recent Grand Front Osaka Open in Japan, Ahmed Tijan Janko partnered Julio Junior Do Nascimento to capture the men’s honour.
Meanwhile, Candra Rachmawan/Mohammad Ashfiya keep hopes of the host nation alive when the Indonesian pairing captured two wins on Saturday to reach the semi-finals. They first struggled to beat Sonny Hirini/Sam O’Dea of New Zealand 21-14 23-25 15-7 to next spend 34 minutes in thrashing Japanese Katsuhiro Shiratori/Takumi Takahashi 21-17 21-13. Candra/Ashfiya next take on Rahman Raoufi/Bahman Salemiinjehboroun in the other semi-final match. The Iranian duo also registered two victories on Saturday including a comeback 18-21 21-11 15-9 win over Aussies Josh Court/Zachery Schubert.
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