Songkhla, Thailand, September 25, 2022 – Australians Thomas Hodges/Zachery Schubert and Thailand’s Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee/Tarawadee Naraphornrapat underlined their supremacy over the AVC Beach Tour 21st Samila Open, with the former overcoming a poor start to stun Chinese Ha Likejiang/Wu Jiaxin in the highly-anticipated showdown at the Samila Beach on Sunday.
Two Australian teams made it to the men’s semifinals, but had to enjoy the mixed fortunes in the Sunday morning. In-form Hodges and Schubert lived up to all expectations to see off local hopefuls and top seeds Surin Jongklang/Banlue Nakprakhong, consecutive two-time SEA Games silver medallists, in comfortable battle 21-16, 21-11 for a spot in the final.
Another Australian duo, Izac Carracher/Mark Nicolaidis, tried hard to join them in the showdown. However, Wu and Ha smashed their sweet dream of making it all-Australians final. The Chinese veterans, silver medallists at the double-gender Udon Thani-hosted 2020 Asian Beach Volleyball Championships in Thailand, pulled off a stunning 2-1 (21-17, 15-21, 15-11) win against Aussies Carrecher/Nicolaidis to secure their final berth.
In the electrifying final showdown against Hodges/Schubert, Chinese Wu and Ha got off to a great start to take the completely one-sided first set 21-8, but Hodges and Schubert overcame a dismal start to turn things around and gained control. The formidable Aussies clinched the second set 21-18 and stormed on to win the third set 15-12 and the 44-minute match.
The third-place playoff clash saw Carrecher and Nicolaidis, who finished runner-ups at the 2022 Australian Championships, survive a daunting challenge from Surin and Banlue to stun the Thai top seeds 16-21, 21-14, 15-13.
Meanwhile, in the women’s final, Thailand’s top seeds Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee/Tarawadee Naraphornrapat, gold medallists at the last year’s double-gender Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships in Phuket and bronze medallists at the recent AVC Beach Tour Roi Et Open, put it past Japan’s Akiko Hasegawa/Yurika Sakaguchi 21-18, 21-14 to capture the crown.
Earlier, Rio 2016 Olympian Nicole Laird/Phoebe Bell, who captured the Women’s Elite 2022 Australian Beach Volleyball Championships on Coolangatta Beach in Gold Coast in April and picked up bronze medal at the 2017 Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships at the competition site here in Songkhla, had to be content with third place following their comeback 2-1 (20-22, 21-10, 15-13) triumph in the bronze-medal encounter.
Shortly after completion of the women’s final showdown Songkhla Deputy Governor Mr Amphon Pongsuwan and Thailand Volleyball Association President Mr Somporn Chaibangyang jointly presided over the awards presentation and the closing ceremony.
Australians Thomas Hodges/Zachery Schubert, the eventual champions in the men’s event, received the Champions’ Trophy, gold medal and US$2,500 cash prize, while silver medallists Wu Jiaxin/Ha Likejiang from China took home US$2,000 prize money.
As Izac Carracher/Mark Nicolaidis from Australia could not attend the ceremony due to unforeseen personal reasons, compatriots Alisha Stevens/Georgia Johnson, fourth place in the women’s event, stepped on the podium in place of the bronze medallists who were not available at that moment. They received US$1,500 cash prize.
In the women’s event, Thailand’s Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee/Tarawadee Naraphornrapat received the Champions’ Trophy plus gold medal and UZ$2,500 prize money, while silver medallists Akiko Hasegawa/Yurika Sakaguchi of Japan claimed US$2,000 and bronze medallists Nicole Laird/Phoebe Bell pocketed US$1,500.
Mr Somporn also took this opportunity to present thank you plaques to representatives from organisations, heads of administrative units, private- and government-sectors and sponsors for their contribution and support to the organisation of the AVC Beach Tour 21st Samila Open from September 21 to 25, 2022.
MEN’S OVERALL RESULTS
WOMEN’S OVERALL RESULTS
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