Kathmandu, Nepal, December 2, 2019 – Sri Lanka swept both bronze medals on offer in the men’s and women’s third-place playoffs at the 13th South Asian Games at Tripureswor Covered Hall here on Monday, with the Sri Lankan men producing a comeback win against Bangladesh.
In the men’s bronze medal match, Sri Lanka, coached by Cuban Manuel Torres Torres Gonzalo and which finished 14th place at this year’s Asian Senior Men’s Championship in Iran, lost the closely-contested first set 23-25 against the well-organised Bangladesh.
Conceding one set, the Sri Lankans, strengthened by three powerful attackers, Deepthi Romesh Ranawaka Hehathpurage, Mahesh Chandraumara and Lasindu Methmal Wasanthapriya, turned things around and clawed their way back into the game to win the remaining three sets 25-20 25-16 25-21, match and the bronze medal.
Deepthi Hehathpurage scored a match-high 37 points for Sri Lanka including 16 attacks from 35 attempts and a team-leading 20 blocks. Horosit Biswas led Bangladesh with 26 points including 24 attacks.
However, despite the win, the Sri Lanka’s attempts fell short of the previous Games in Guwahati, India in 2016 when they made it to the final showdown against India but had to return with silver medal.
Sri Lanka, which claimed silver at the previous Games three years ago, also took bronze in the women’s event following a convincing straight-set 25-13 25-18 25-8 win against Maldives in the third place playoff clash on Monday.
On Tuesday, the final day of the volleyball competition of the 2019 South Asian Games, the biennial multi-sport event held among the athletes from South Asia, unbeaten India have their sights firmly set on a successful title defence in both men’s and women’s events which they swept both gold medals on home soil in the previous Games.
In the men’s showdown on Tuesday, India are due to take on closest rivals Pakistan, the team they had lost twice in major tournaments.
Pakistan men’s players
At the last year’s Asian Games volleyball competition in Jakarta, Indonesia, India went down 1-3 to Pakistan in the 7th-12th playoffs. Pakistan finished 8th place in the Asiad, with India coming in 12th position.
India men’s players
The India’s second loss to Pakistan came in this September’s Asian Senior Men’s Championship in Tehran, Iran. Contesting the 7th-8th playoff match, India recovered from the first two sets down against Pakistan to force a decider, but the outcome was, nonetheless, 3-2 in favour of the Pakistani side. Pakistan finished 7th place in the competitive competition, while India came in 8th position.
Meanwhile, in the women’s final clash, India, the only team which have yet lost a set to their respective rivals, will battle it out with hosts Nepal for supremacy. It will also be a revenge match for Nepal as the host side succumbed to a stunning 0-3 loss to in-form India in their Pool A clash on November 28.
India (blue) beat Nepal 3-0 in Pool A first round.
As volleyball will be held on the final day in the 13th South Asian Games on Tuesday, beach volleyball, which will get off the ground for the first time in history in the Games, will take place in Pokhara. Since Nepal is a landlocked country, the beach volleyball competition will be played on the banks of Fewa Lake in Pokhara between December 5 and 8.
Bronze medal match: Sri Lanka b Maldives 3-0 (25-13 25-18 25-8)
Bronze medal match: Sri Lanka b Bangladesh 3-1 (23-25 25-20 25-16 25-21)
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Gold medal match: India v Nepal
Gold medal match: India v Pakistan
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