Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, July 4, 2021 – Home teams continued their remarkable performance in the men’s event, as the women’s semifinals turn out to be all-Thais and all-Australians affair on Monday after their pool round-robin preliminaries came to a close in the 3rd Asian U19 Beach Volleyball Championships on Sunday.

Competing in the searing heat at the competition site in front of Mida Grande Hotel Dhavaravati Nakhon Pathom here, top seeds Thailand1’s Netitorn Muneekul/Wachirawit Muadpha, fresh from beating Iran2’s Amir Reza Zamani/Armin Kami, remained in formidable form to power past the Philippines’ Jay Rack De La Noche/Alexander Jhon Iraya 21-18, 21-15.

“I’m satisfied with our performance in today’s match against the Philippines. It’s much better than our previous match which was played inconsistently and without confidence,” Netitorn said at the Mixed Zone. “We were right on target with 2-0 win against the Philippines. However, we hope to do better in our next match,” teammate Wachirawit added.

With three wins in a row, the Thailand1 duo topped Pool A as expected to advance to the Monday’s quarter-finals, while the Philippines and Iran2 will battle it out in their last pool play on Monday to vie for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Third seeds Iran1’s Abolhassan Khakizadeh/Ali Ghorbanpasandi also secured their quarterfinal berth with three wins in a row. The Iranian duo topped Pool C after mercilessly crushing Qatar’s Mohammed Al-Sharshani/Moubarak Al-Kuwari 21-11, 21-9 on Sunday. The Qataris and Kazakhstan2’s Alexandr Ketiladze/Alexandr Izmailov, beaten on the first day by the Iranians, will fight it out in Monday’s clash for a spot in the quarterfinals later on the same day.

In Pool D, fourth seeds Kazakhstan1’s Darkhan Amanzholov/Damir Lapov and Thailand3’s Nopphawit Puttharong/Anucha Promdee have already been assured of advancing to the quarterfinals as both teams remained unbeaten, with the former producing a comeback 2-1 (19-21, 21-18, 15-12) win against Indonesia’s Regar Renata/Afta Widura in 48 minutes and the latter overcoming a strong challenge from Jason El Najjar/Omar Abi Karam to beat the Lebanon2 pairing in thrilling three-setter 22-20, 17-21, 15-13 in exhausting 61 minutes.

Kazakhstan1 and Thailand3 will will play their last preliminary match on Monday to decide the top team in Pool D.

The door of opportunity is wide open in Pool B as Australia and Thailand2 won two matches apiece. As Australia had already completed their pool plays with one loss on Saturday to Thailand2, the Thai team will contest their third and last match on Monday against Lebanon1, beaten 15-21, 16-21 by Australia on Sunday.

The possible third win on Monday will give Thailand2’s Narakorn Chumaphai/Veerayut Sopati the green light to contest the quarterfinals as the Pool B winners and as a result, second seeds Australia’s Benjamin Booth/Lucas Josefsen will also be assured of joining the fray in that round.

Meanwhile, the pool plays in the women’s event ended on Sunday. Second seeds Australians Alisha Stevens/Stefanie Fejes captured three wins in a row to top Pool B including a magnificent come-from-behind 2-1 (19-21, 21-16, 15-13) win against Thailand2’s Patcharaporn Seehawong/Jidapa Bunongkhun on Sunday.

“We just came up with a very tough third set against Thailand2 and we got away with the win. I’m very happy with it,” Stefanie said, while teammate Stevens added, “Thank you, Volleyball Australia for the support.”

As the unbeaten Australians advanced to the Monday’s cross semifinals, Thailand2’s Patcharaporn/Jidapa, who scored two successive wins on Saturday but went down to Australians Alisha/Stefanie, finished second in Pool B to enter the semifinals.

Thailand1’s Suchinna Choemphun/Apinya Saengpaeng also proved their talents as they spent only 28 minutes to beat Indonesians Rifda Alia Fadila/Francisca Arintha 21-10, 21-12 on Sunday for three consecutive wins. Top seeds Suchinna/Apinya not only topped Pool A, but also secured a spot in the Monday’s semifinals.

Coming in second place in Pool A are Australia2’s Jasmine Fleming/Jesse Mann, who grabbed their second win on Sunday following their 2-0 (21-15, 21-14) victory over Kazakhstan2’s Laura Kabulbekova/Nadezhda Ivanchenko. The Australians made the cut for the semifinals.

In the Monday’s cross semifinals, Pool A winners Thailand1’s Suchina/Apinya and Pool B second place Thailand2’s Patcharaporn/Jidapa will battle it out for a spot in the final showdown, while Alisha/Stefanie and Jasmine/Jesse settle for the all-Australians semifinal clash.

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