Osaka, Japan, October 9, 2017 – Qataris Julio Donascimento/Ahmed Tijan Janko and Australians Taliqua Clancy/Mariafe Artacho Del Solar captured the respective men’s and women’s crowns when the AVC Beach Volleyball Tour “Grand Front Osaka Master” came to a close here on Monday.
Indonesia and Qatar ruled the roost in the men’s event when players from the two nations occupied the sheets of the men’s final and the bronze medal matches. In the bronze medal match earlier, Indonesians Rachmawan/Mohammad Asfiya beat Qataris Jefferson Santos Pereira/Cherif Younousee in thrilling three-setter 21－17、14－21、15－9.
Rachmawan expressed his appreciation to his nation, “Many thanks to Indonesian people and other Indonesian teams. We are proud of our result in this tournament. Our next target is the AVC Palembang Open. Of course, we aim the gold on our home soil there”.
However, Julio Donascimento/Ahmed Tijan Janko salvaged a Qatar’s pride as they proved a class above Indonesians Gilang Ramadan/Danangsyah Pribadi for a convincing 21－15、21－19 win in the men’s final showdown to reign supreme. Julio evaluated his team, “We formed our team in January last year. Comparing with that moment, we are improving in leaps and bounds. To qualify for the Tokyo 2020 is our goal, so I hope to be back in Japan again”.
In the women’s semi-finals earlier in the morning, Indonesia’s Dhita Juliana/Putu Utami stunned Thailand’s Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee in comfortable straight sets 21-13, 21-18, while Australia’s Rio de Janeiro Olympians Taliqua Clancy/Mariafe Artacho Del Solar powered past hosts Japan’s Miki Ishii/Megumi Murakami 21-15, 21-15.
In the third-place playoff, Japan’s Ishii/Murakami overcame Thailand’s former Asian Beach Games champions Varapatsorn/Tanarattha in a hard-fought three-set thriller 21-18, 16-21, 15-13 win. Ishii and Murakami thanked home spectators for their warm supports. Murakami smiled as saying, “Making it to the podium to get medals no matter what colour it will be is important for Japanese teams because it is the first time for Japan to host the Asian Tour. Also, I have my personal wish to aim for a better result. So, I’m very satisfied with the result.”
In the women’s final, the grand finale of this Japan’s memorable event, Australians Clancy/Artacho Del Solar proved too strong for Dhita/Putu to send the Indonesians packing 21-10, 21-11 for the eventual crown. Clancy was delighted with the title they had won in Japan and hopes to get back to Japan three years later, “Last year, we made it to the Rio 2016, but missed to win any medals. So, I want to come back to Japan again three years later and win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics”.
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