Bangkok, Thailand, December 30, 2022 – Maldives’ second seeds Adam Naseem and Sajid Ismail downed fifth seeds Sunar Dil Bahadur/Shrestha Man Bahadur in the thrilling final showdown to reign supreme over the 2022 Central Asian Volleyball Association (CAVA) Beach Volleyball Tour Bangladesh at Cox’s Bazar Beach on Friday.
Adam and Ismail spent 32 minutes in putting it past the spirited Nepalese duo 21-13, 21-19 in the Friday’s final clash to capture their unprecedented men’s title with remarkable unbeaten record.
The Maldivian pairing participated in many beach volleyball events in 2022, but had disappointing outings including a joint 19th place at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Maldives Challenge in October. Furthermore, they suffered three straight losses in Pool B, dominated by Australia’s big names Christopher McHugh and Paul Burnett, in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, leaving the Maldivians to miss the cut for the quarterfinals.
Adam and Ismail topped Pool A following a perfect sweep of three straight 2-0 wins. They got off to a flying start with one-sided 21-9, 21-9 triumph against Bhutan’s seventh seeds Dorji Tshering/Jigme Kuenzang in their first clash. The Maldivian duo continued their winning streak by beating Kyrgyzstan’s sixth seeds Medetbek Uulu/Zheenbek Uulu 21-12, 21-12 and Bangladesh’s third seeds Monsur Md Abul/Haider Md Imran 21-12, 21-11.
In the Thursday’s semifinal clash, Adam and Ismail survived a scare from top seeds Biswas Horosit/Hossain Smail to narrowly edge past the host side in the hard-fought two-setter 22-20, 22-20 for a place in the showdown, while Nepalese Sunar/Shrestha, who captured the top spot in Pool B, struggled to beat Kyrgyzstan’s Medetbek Uulu/Zheenbek Uulu 26-24, 21-13 in the second semifinal encounter.
Against Sunar/Shrestha, who had beaten another Maldivian duo, fourth seeds Mohamed Ahmed/Hussain Shamaail, 2-1 in the pool play, Adam and Ismail took the comfortable first set 21-13 in the showdown, but the Nepalese opponents hit back in the second set with high hopes of making a comeback. Still, Adam and Ismail came up with some more sensational defending and cruised on to win the hard-fought set 21-19 and match to be crowned the men’s champions.
Earlier, Biswas Horosit and Hossain Smail made Bangladesh proud to keep bronze medal at home after brushing off Medetbek Uulu/Zheenbek Uulu 21-10, 21-17 in the third-place playoff match.
Maldives’ Adam/Ismail win gold medal
Nepal’s Sunar/Shrestha pick up silver medal
Bangladesh’s Biswas/Pavel claim bronze
Kyrgyzstan’s Medetbek/Zheenbek finish fourth
Meanwhile, CAVA President Mr Mohamed Latheef from Maldives was the chief guest for the final match and awarded medals to the winning teams. He also congratulated the medallists and all the players and officials who participated in the three-day competition.
He said, “As a Maldivian, it is very proud moment for me to witness Team Maldives winning the gold medal in CAVA Beach Volleyball Tour, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.” Mr Latheef also announced that CAVA Beach Volleyball Tour 2023 Men’s event will be held at Cox’s Bazar, adding that he is confident the Bangladesh Volleyball Federation will make a better event with the experience from the very first CAVA Beach Volleyball event in Bangladesh.
He thanked and congratulated BVF President Mr Md Atiqul Islam for hosting two successful competitions in a row consisting of the CAVA Men’s U23 Volleyball Championship in Dhaka between December 22 and 26 and CAVA Beach Volleyball Tour, Cox’s Bazar from December 28 to 30, 2022.
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