Palembang, Indonesia, October 20, 2017 – Strong teams thrashed inexperienced rivals to storm their ways to the women’s quarter-finals of the 6th South Sumatra Governor Cup AVC Beach Volleyball Tour Palembang Open at Jakabaring, with title favourites Mariafe Artacho Del Solar/Taliqua Clancy from Australia claiming two wins on Friday to next have a tough test against Indonesians Dhita Juliana/Putu Utami.
Artacho Del Solar/Clancy, fresh from capturing two major titles comprising the World Tour Qinzhou Open in China and the Grand Front Asian Beach Tour Osaka Open in Japan early this month, are chasing dreams of making it three in a row in their partnership. The Australian duo teamed up to finish fourth place at the 2012 AVC Beach Volleyball Championship before switching partnership with the others for different tournaments. Artacho Del Solar and Clancy renewed their partnership this year to clinch the afore-mentioned two titles.
After mercilessly crushing Chinese Taipei’s Yu Ya-Hsuan/Pan Tzu-Yi 21-9 21-8 in just 26 minutes on Thursday, Artacho Del Solar/Clancy came up with incredible performances to register two wins in a row on Friday. They powered past New Zealanders Danielle Quigley/Melissa Ruru 21-8 21-10 in 25 minutes in the group round-robin preliminary match before sending Indonesians Martha Rahawarin/Nur Atika Sari packing 21-5 21-11 in 24 minutes in the round of the last 16 teams.
In the Saturday’s quarter-finals, Artacho Del Solar/Clancy are due to take on Indonesia’s hopefuls Dhita Juliana/Putu Utami, runners-up at the AVC Beach Volleyball Tour Grand Front Osaka Open. The host pairing had a mixed fortune on Friday. Going down 1-2 (21-16 16-21 10-15) to formidable Japanese Sayaka Mizoe/Suzuka Hashimoto, the Indonesians made amends by beating Desi Ratnasari/Yokebed Purari Eka 21-14 21-15 in the all-Indonesians battle in their second encounter of the day.
Two Thai pairings, Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee and Rumpaipruet Numwong/Khanittha Hongpak, had a field day on Friday to take two successive wins. Rumpaipruet/Khanittha overpowered Kazakhstan’s Tatyana Mashkova/Bakhtygul Samalikova 21-11 21-17 for first win, but struggled to beat Hong Kong’s To Wing Tung/Kong Cheuk Yee 21-12 15-21 23-21 in their second match.
Former Asian Beach Games champions Varapatsorn/Tanarattha’s road to quarter-finals was also paved with roses as they won both matches easily. The Thai duo downed New Zealanders Julia Tilley/Alice Bain 21-11 21-9 and tamed another Kiwi pairing of Danielle Quipley/Melissa Ruru 21-16 21-11 in the round of last 16 teams.
In the men’s event, beach spikers from Indonesia, Oman, Qatar, Japan and Thailand made their marks in the group round-robin preliminaries on Friday.
Indonesians Candra Rachmawan/Mohammad Ashfiya, who got their campaign in this tournament off to a disappointing start following their 1-2 loss to Oman’s Nouh Al Jalbubi/Mazin Al Hashmi, stunned Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Yakovlev/Sergey Bogutu 21-19 21-19 on Friday to still keep their hopes of advancing to the next round alive. Earlier, the Kazakh duo came from behind to beat Nouh Al Jalbubi/Mazin Al Hashimi from Oman 12-21 21-10 15-13.
Omanis Haitham Al Shereiqi/Ahmed Al Housni found Wong Pui Lam/Lau Tsz Ho Kevin a tough nut to crack, but finally beat the Hong Kong’s tandem in hard-fought three-setter 21-17 15-21 15-12.
Qataris Jefferson Santos Pereira/Julio Junior Do Nascimento beat New Zealand’s Sonny Hirini/Same O’Dea 22-20 21-18, while team-mates Cherif Samba Younousse/Ahmed Tijan Janko also pulled off a sensational 21-15 21-11 win over Thais Surin Jongklang/Adisorn Khaolumtarn.
Thailand’s Nuttanon Inkiew/Sedtawat Padsawud enjoyed a stunning 21-12 21-16 win over the 2014 Asian Games champions Alexey Sidorenko/Alexandr Dyachenko from Kazakhstan and Japan’s Katsuhiro Shiratori/Takumi Takahashi beat Australians Cole Durant/Paul Burnett 21-16 21-15.
The four-day, double-gender competition, a test event for Asian teams prior to their tough task in the next year’s 18th Asian Games, which would be co-hosted by Palembang and Jakarta, continues through Sunday.
Beach spikers from 15 countries including Australia, Japan, Iran, Qatar, Thailand and Chinese Taipei are taking part in this tournament, which is being held at the Palembang’s landmark stadium of Jakabaring, the venue that would host the upcoming 18th Asian Games in 2018 in Indonesia.
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