Manila, Philippines, December 3, 2019 – Thailand made a step closer to winning the women’s gold medal after a 2-0 rout of hosts Philippines on Tuesday for four wins in a row in the single round-robin competition of the 30th Southeast Asian Games beach volleyball competition at the Subic Tennis Courts in Clark on Tuesday.
Thai 1’s Varapatsorn Radarong/Khanittha Hongpak took the first match for Thailand as they struggled to beat Cherry Ann Rodina/Bernadeth Pons 2-0 (26-24 21-15), while Thai 2’s Tanarattha Udomchavee/Rumpaipruet Numwong helped the team end the opponents’ challenge with a 21-16 21-14 win against Philippine 2’s Angeline Maria Gervacio/Floremel Rivera Rodriguez.
The other match on Tuesday saw Malaysia overpower Singapore 2-0.
As of Tuesday, the Thailand women captured a commanding lead with 12 points from four straight wins. They are due to play their last match of the tournament on Thursday against Indonesia and they need a must-win match against the strong opponents to make sure the SEA Games gold medal is within their reach.
Indonesia now have 6 points from two consecutive wins and they still have three more matches to compete ahead of the awards presentation and closing ceremony on Friday. The Indonesians will next take on Malaysia on Wednesday, Thailand on Thursday and Vietnam on Friday, the final day of the SEA Games beach volleyball competition.
Meanwhile, formidable Sadtawat Padsawud/Nuttanon Inkiew, gold medallists in two FIVB World Tour events, steered Thailand to an exceptional 2-0 win against Singapore in their last preliminary match of the Games men’s beach volleyball competition on Tuesday.
However, despite the loss, Singapore joined Thailand in the cross semi-finals of the SEA Games tournament, which serves as the qualifying round for Continental Cup Phase 1 Southeastern Zone.
Both Thailand and Singapore had earlier claimed two straight wins in Pool B to earn their semi-final tickets. The Tuesday’s match was held to decide the Pool B winners and win or lose, both teams have already been assured of advancing.
Surin Jongklang/Banlue Nakphakhong got Thailand off to a flying start when they overcame a sturdy challenge from Tay Kingsley Zi Hao/Shen Fan Yang in the first set to beat the Singapore 1’s paring in straight sets 26-24 21-13 in 38 minutes.
A superb duo of Sadtawat and Nuttanon, who captured two gold medals in the FIVB World Tour events comprising the 2018 Pakbara Open on home soil in Satun and Bandar Torkaman in Iran this October, had too much power with the former a constant thorn in the rivals with his spectacular attacks at the net and the latter marshalling his partner defensively.
As expected, the Thai 2’s pairing brushed off Singapore 2’s Kiu Nicholas/Tan Trevis Ray Meng 2-0 (21-18 21-15) in 35 minutes to help Thailand win the match 2-0. In the other match, Vietnam outclassed Cambodia 2-0.
At completion of the pool plays on Tuesday, Thailand had 9 points from three straight wins to top Pool B, followed by Singapore with 4 points from two wins against one loss. Vietnam and Cambodia finished third and fourth places with 4 and 1 point respectively.
Pool A encounters came to a close one day earlier. Unbeaten Indonesia topped the Pool with 9 points from three wins in a row. Hosts Philippines had 6 points from two wins against one loss to come in second place. Malaysia and winless Timor-Leste finished respective third and fourth places.
In the semi-finals on Thursday, Pool A winners Indonesia will play Pool B runners-up Singapore, with Pool B winners Thailand challenging Pool A runners-up hosts Philippines. The two winning teams will battle it out for the men’s title on Friday.
In the Wednesday’s classification for 5th-8th places, Malaysia will take on Cambodia and Vietnam will meet Timor-Leste.
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