Penghu, Chinese Taipei, August 11, 2019 – Ade Candra Rachmawan/Muhammad Ashfiya, silver medallists at the last year’s Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang, smashed Chinese Taipei’s dreams of winning the gold medal at home as the superb Indonesian duo brushed off Wang Chin-Ju/Hsieh Ya-Jen in comfortable straight sets 21-13 21-18 in the Sunday’s showdown to capture the mens’ title at the 2019 AVC Beach Volleyball Tour Penghu Open here.

Promising Miller Pata and youngster Sherysyn Toko, who performed superbly to win gold medal at the 2019 Samoa Pacific Games, made Vanuatu proud again when the terrific pairing came from behind to beat Indonesians Dhita Juliana/Putu Utami, bronze medallists at the last year’s Asian Games, 20-22 21-11 15-12 to reign supreme in the women’s event. Pata had already sparked an emotional scene at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games when she famously carried her seven-month-old son, Tommy, onto the podium during the awards presentation. Vanuatu claimed bronze medal there.

Oman’s Ahmed Al-Housni/Haitham Al-Shereiqi struggled to beat another Indonesians Gilang Ramadhan/Danangsyah Pribadi, bronze medallists at the last year’s Asian Games on home soil, in thrilling tie-breaker 21-10 16-21 17-15 to take bronze medal in the men’s competition,

In the semi-finals earlier, Candra/Ashfiya proved their superiority over Ahmed/Haitham to outclass the Omani pairing 21-11 21-17 in 31 minutes, while Wang C.J/Hsieh Y.J advanced to the final showdown after terrific comeback 2-1 (18-21 22-20 17-15) win against Indonesians Gilang/Danang in 48 minutes.

Meanwhile, Japanese Akiko Hasegawa/Azusa Futami thrashed home crowd favourites Kou Nai-Harn/Liu Pi-Hsin 21-13 21-15 to claim women’s bronze medal.

Earlier, Dhita/Putu came from behind to beat Chinese Taipei’s Kou Nai-Harn/Liu Pi-Hsin 21-23 21-14 15-13, while Toko/Pata overcame a sturdy challenge from Hasegawa/Futami to beat the Japanese duo 21-18 16-21 15-8 in the semi-finals.

Despite the competitive competition, friendship without barriers could be seen among all participating players. On Saturday’s quarter-finals, a men’s encounter between Thailand’s Kitti Duangjinda/Dunwinit Kaewsai and Indonesia’s Candra/Ashfiya sparked another emotional scene.

Dunwinit collapsed to the ground with his face distorted in pain, suffering from the legs cramps. The Indonesian duo, though having nothing to do with the Thai player in terms of rivalry, had no hesitation in rushing to help the injured Thai, massaging him to relieve the pain as if Dunwinit were a beloved one in their own families. As a saying has it, when it comes to storytelling, a beautiful scene can occur even in an action-packed sport competition.

However, Dunwinit was not the first one to sustain the legs cramps in that match, his team-mate Kitti also had a sudden pain in the muscles of his leg during the competition, but he just did not want to give up easily. On the other hand, he continued the fight.

The 2019 AVC Beach Volleyball Tour Penghu Open in Chinese Taipei was held from August 7 to 11, with top teams from Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Turkmenistan, Oman, Hong Kong China, Malaysia, Australia and hosts Chinese Taipei taking part in the men’s event, while the women’s division featured teams from Vanuatu, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong China and Chinese Taipei.

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