Songkhla, Thailand, April 16, 2018 – Indonesia take on Japan and China play Iran in the men’s semi-finals, with Thailand challenging Australia and Indonesia and China facing off in the women’s semi-final encounters of the AVC Beach Volleyball Tour “19th Samila Open” on Tuesday.
Top seeds Thailand 1’s Nuttanon Inkiew/Sedtawat Padsawud, who handed Thailand the historic World Tour gold medal following their exceptional victory at the Pak Bara Beach Satun last week, failed in attempts of restoring their pride when Indonesia 2’s Pribadi Danangsyah/Ramadhan Gilang sent them packing 21-17 21-18 in the men’s quarter-finals. The Indonesians will go up against Japan 1’s Takahashi Takumi/Yusuke Ishijima, who overshadowed Indonesia 1’s Candra Ade Rachmawan/Mohammad Ashfiya 21-19 21-19 in the Monday’s quarter-final clash.
“I think we played well today against the host team. There are many factors and conditions why we won, but the Thai team also played well. We beat this Thai team 2-1 in the previous tournament we played them. However, here we just concentrated on our game. Against Japan 1 in the semi-finals, we will prepare for that match and will try to do our best,” said Danangsyah, who has already teamed up with Gilang for three years.
The other men’s semi-final match on Tuesday sees Iran 2’s Salemiinjehboroun Bahman/Arash Vakili play China 2’s Gao Peng/Li Yang. In the quarter-finals, the Iranians struggled hard to beat China 1’s Ha Likejiang/Wu Jiaxin, while Gao/Li pulled off a hard-fought 2-1 (21-15 17-21 18-16) win over formidable Qataris Cherif Younousse/Ahmed Tijan, winners at the last year’s AVC Beach Volleyball Tour Palembang Open in Indonesia and third place at this year’s 4-star Doha Open on home sand.
In the women’s event, top seeds Thailand 1’s Rumpaipruet Numwong/Khanittha Hongpak, third place at the recent World Tour Pak Bara Beach in Satun, still lived up to their top billing. The Thai duo thrashed Indonesia 2’s Desi Ratnaseri/Eka Yokebed 21-15 21-18 in the Monday’s quarter-finals to next challenge Australia 1’s Bell Phoebe/Jessyka Ngauamo.
“It was a match full of entertaining and pressure. We improved on our communication. We helped each other and tried not to make too many unforced mistakes,” Khanittha said after the match.
“I think I did not block well, leaving Khanittha to work much harder in attempts of retrieving the ball. In the semi-finals, lose or win, we will fight it all out and try to play every part of the match well,” added team-mate Rumpaipruet.
In the other semi-final encounter, China 1’s Wang Fan/Xia Xinyi, silver medallists at the 2-star World Tour in Sydney, Australia last November, will be pitted against Indonesia 1’s Dhita Juliana/Putu Utami, who were given a strong challenge by Ayumi Kusano/Takemi Nishibori to cruise past the Japan 1’s duo in a closely-contested battle 21-19 20-22 19-17.
In the round of the last 16 earlier, Indonesia and China sent a warning sign to all participating nations that their beach volleyball teams are the Asia’s strongest to be reckoned with in this double-gender, four-day event as they had two teams apiece in both men’s and women’s quarter-finals. However, both nations had the similar one team apiece in each gender in the semi-finals.
The Tuesday’s semi-finals will kick off at 9am in the men’s events, with the women’s competition being held at 9.50am. The third-place playoffs will take place at 2.30pm, followed by the men’s final at 3pm and the women’s showdown at 4pm respectively.
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