Pokhara, Nepal, December 8, 2019 – Sri Lanka underlined their supremacy over the 13th South Asian Games beach volleyball competition in this City of Lakes to become the first country ever to win the debut Games competition with a clean sweep of both gold medals up for grabs in the biennial multi-sport event.
A total of 20 teams from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives and hosts Nepal (each country fielded two teams apiece in men’s and women’s events) made their debut efforts in this landlocked host country where the competition venue is located on the beautiful banks of Fewa Lake with the gorgeous view of the gigantic mountains as background.
It turned out to be an all-Sri Lankan affairs in this sports discipline, which was introduced to the 13th South Asian Games for the first time here.
In the men’s showdown, Sri Lanka 1’s Asanka Pradeep/Ashen Rashmika overcame a strong challenge from team-mates Indika Tiron/Jayan Sanuja to beat the Sri Lanka 2’s duo 2-0 (24-22 21-13) in 38 minutes for gold medal, while Pakistan 2’s Razzaq Muhammad/Waseen Muhammad saw off compatriots Khan Zasrnab/Khan Afaq of Pakistan 1 2-0 (21-16 21-19) in the third-place playoff to claim bronze medal.
In the semi-finals earlier, Sri Lanka 2’s Indika Tiron/Jayan Sanuja struggled to beat Pakistan 1’s Khan Zasrnab/Khan Afaq in thrilling three-setter 21-23 21-14 17-15, while Sri Lanka 1’s Asanka Pradeep/Ashen Kumara eliminated Pakistan 2’s Razzaq Muhammad/Waseen Muhammad 2-0 (21-17 21-18).
Sri Lanka also made their mark in the women’s event which saw their both teams made it to the all-Sri Lankans showdown. Gedera Deepika/Madushani Weerasinghe captured the gold medal after coming from behind to beat team-mates Tharuka Lakshini/Dinesha Prasadani 2-1 (19-21 21-15 15-8) in 54 minutes.
Hosts Nepal picked up bronze medal when Nepal 1’s Binita Budhathoki/Nebika Chaudhary put it past team-mates Kopila Upreti/Manisha Chaudhary in thrilling three-setter 21-12 19-21 18-14.
The semi-final encounters saw Sri Lanka 2’s Gedera Deepika/Madushani Weerasinghe thrash Nepal 2’s Kopila Upreti/Manisha Chaudhary 2-0 (21-10 21-5) in 23 minutes, while Sri Lanka 1’s Tharuka Lakshini/Dinesha Prasadani demolished Nepal 1’s Binita Budhathoki/Nebika Chaudhary 21-15 21-15 in 32 minutes.
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