Chinese Ha Likejiang and Wu Jiaxin stamped their authority on the 2022 AVC Beach Tour Bandar Abbas Open following their exceptional victory against Zachery Schubert and Thomas Hodges in the final showdown in Bandar Abbas, Iran on Friday.
The 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) demolition of the Australia’s second seeds not only handed Ha and Wu the second title this month, but also a sweet revenge for their 1-2 loss to the same opponents in the final clash at the Thailand-hosted AVC Beach Tour Samila Open in September.
The Chinese third seeds, who claimed their debut FIVB World Tour one-star event in Anapa, Russia in 2018, had already captured their first victory this year in the Soha Future Beach Pro Tour in Oman on November 1. They also picked up silver medal at the double-gender 2020 Asian Beach Volleyball Championships in Udon Thani, Thailand.
In the semifinal clash earlier, Ha, 30, and Wu, 29, lived up to all expectation to power past Wang Yanwei and Zhou Chaowei 21-17, 21-16 in the 36-minute, all-Chinese affair.
Schubert and Hodges also made their mark in international stage this year as they had already captured three titles to their name comprising the Orlen Beach Volleyball Tour in Kolobrzeg, Poland in August, the AVC Beach Tour Samila Open in Thailand in September and the Matsuyama Beach Volleyball Tour in Japan in October.
In the Friday morning earlier, the Australian duo smashed hosts Iran’s dream of advancing to the final clash as they produced a comeback 2-1 (19-21, 21-18, 15-6) win against Bahman Salemiinjehboroun/Alireza Aghajanighasab in gruelling 52 minutes in another semifinal encounter.
However, before a large crowd of supporting home fans, Salemi and Aghajani saved the pride for the host side as they pulled off a scintillating 2-0 (22-20, 21-16) win in the third-place playoff clash against Chinese Wang and Zhou.
Dr Mohammad Reza Davarzani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Volleyball Federation (IRIVF), presided over the awards presentation and closing ceremony, also attended by other key persons of the federation, at the competition venue in Bandar Abbas on Friday.
Chinese Ha Likejiang and Wu Jiaxin captured gold medal, with Australians Zachery Schubert/Thomas Hodges and Iranians Bahman Salemiinjehboroun/Alireza Aghajanighasab claiming silver and bronze medals respectively.
Meanwhile, Bandar Abbas, a port city and capital of Hormozgān Province on the southern coast of Iran, on the Persian Gulf, will host another major tournament next week at the same competition venue.
A total of 30 teams confirmed their participation in the “PPTV” 2022 Asian “Hamrahe Avval” Senior Men’s Beach Volleyball Championship in Bandar Abbas, Iran between November 14 and 18, 2022. The Preliminary Inquiry and General Technical Meeting are due to take place on November 13, while Pool Play will kick off on November 14.
The Round of 16 and Quarterfinals will be organised on November 17, with the Semifinals and Finals being held on November 18, 2022. Stay tuned!
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