Kathmandu-Pokhara, Nepal, November 28, 2019 – Regional powerhouses India tasted double victory on the second day of the 13th South Asian Games volleyball competition at Tripureswor Covered Hall, with their men’s and women’s teams similarly registering straight-set wins against their respective rivals on Thursday.
In the men’s event, reigning champions India contested their first match in Pool A against Bangladesh, which claimed their hard-fought 3-2 win against hosts Nepal in their opening encounter on Wednesday.
Under the coaching guidance of G.E. Sridharan, a former India men’s national volleyball team player from Tamil Nadu who won the Arjuna Award in 1982 and the Dronacharya Award in 2008, India fielded strong players who mostly competed and finished 8th place at this year’s Asian Senior Men’s Championship in Tehran, Iran. They included G.S. Akhin, Jerome Vinith and Kumar Sinha Deepesh.
India’s overwhelming dominance continued through their skill and excellent teamwork which helped them cruise to a convincing 3-0 (25-18 25-14 25-15) win against Bangladesh, their first win in bid for a successful title defence at the South Asian Games here. The Indians will next take on hosts Nepal on Friday.
In Pool B, Pakistan, which finished 7th place at this year Asian Senior Men’s Championship in Iran, powered past Maldives in straight sets 25-16 25-23 25-15 for their first victory in the 13th edition of the SAG, the biennial multi-sport event which will be officially declared open on December 1, 2019.
Pakistan could pose a major threat to India’s title defence and spoil their party in the 13th SAG considering the recent results among them. Pakistan had already beaten India in two major competitions. At the last year’s Asian Games in Indonesia, Pakistan stunned India 3-1 in the 7th-12th playoff match to finally finish 8th place, while India came in 12th position.
Pakistan repeated the feat following a hard-fought 3-2 win against India in the 7th-8th playoff encounter of this year’s Asian Senior Men’s Championship in Iran. Pakistan returned with the 7th place, with India in 8th position.
Meanwhile, in the women’s competition, Nepal’s high hopes of making it two in a row at the South Asian Games on home soil completely shattered when they went down to title-holders India in thrilling straight sets 26-24 25-12 25-16 in Pool A.
Nepal, champions at the recent Asian Senior Women’s Central Zone Championship in Bangladesh, registered their exceptional 3-0 win against Bangladesh in their first match on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka also claimed their first win in Pool B following their uncontested victory over Pakistan, which had withdrawn their team ahead of the start of the competition.
On Friday, India are due to take on Bangladesh in Pool A, with Sri Lanka testing their mettle against Maldives in Pool B.
November 29, 2019
Pool A: India v Nepal
Pool B: Sri Lanka v Maldives
Pool A: India v Bangladesh
Pool B: Sri Lanka v Maldives
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