ISHITSUBO AND SHIBA CLAIM WOMEN’S GOLD IN BORACAY

ISHITSUBO AND SHIBA CLAIM WOMEN’S GOLD IN BORACAY

Boracay, Philippines, May 26, 2019 – Japan’s Satono Ishitsubo and Asami Shiba beat their compatriots Sakurako Fujii and Minori Kumada to claim the gold medal in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Boracay Open on Sunday.

Ishitsubo/Shiba and Sakurako/Kumada clashed in the women’s final after beating opponents Brittany Kendall and Stefanie Wieler of Australia 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) and Slovenia’s Tjasa Kotnik and Tjasa Jancar 2-1 (21-15, 18-21, 19-17), respectively.

Ishitsubo and Shiba bested their compatriots in straight sets 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) to win the gold medal – their second in the World Tour after they claimed the Manavgat 1-star gold in 2018. They also have two bronze medals from 1-star events in Siofok and Battambang.

“We are very happy for this victory,” Ishitsubo said. “Playing against our compatriots in the final is challenging but also rewarding.”

“Having many Japanese teams in the podium makes us very happy,” Shiba said. “It’s a healthy competition and all Japanese teams help each other when we are on the Tour. We try to lift each other up and be happy for each other when many Japanese teams make it to the podium.”

This is the third time that Japan has had both teams in an World Tour women’s gold medal match, where they previously faced-off at the final of Tuan Chau and Singapore in 2018.

Australians Kendall and Wieler salvaged the bronze medal after emerging victorious in the tiebreaker against the Slovenians. They rallied from a set down to win 2-1 (23-25, 21-13, 15-13).

The bronze medal win at the Boracay Open is Kendall and Wieler’s first World tour medal as partners.

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