Thungsong, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand, April 10, 2015 – Title-hotshots and top seeds Alexandr Dyachenko and Alexey Sidorenko of Kazakhstan 1 cruised their ways past tough Iran 1 in hard-fought three-set thriller to clinch a semi-final berth, but the Kazakh women’s top seeds were knocked out in the 6th “Nakhon Si-Chang-Sealect Tuna” AVC Beach Volleyball Tour Thailand-Nakhon Si Open at Thungsong Stadium on Friday.
Veterans Dyachenko and Sidorenko, who performed superbly to capture the gold medal at the last year’s Asian Games in Incheon, Korea, struggled hard to beat Iran 1’s Raoufi Rahman and Salemi Injehoroun Bahman, fourth place here last year, 21-14 19-21 16-14 in gruelling 57 minutes in the quarter-finals. Earlier, the Kazakhs played exceptionally to thrash Sri Lanka and Thailand 2 with the similar 2-0 margin in the pool play.
In the Saturday’s semi-finals, Dyachenko and Sidorenko, who went down to Qatar in the final showdown of the previous edition last year, will take on Japan 1’s Takahashi Takumi and Hasegawa Yoshiumi, who brushed aside Indonesia 1’s Rendy Licardo and Ade Rachmawan, who partnered Koko Prasetyo Darkuncoro to take the last year’s Asian beach Games in Phuket, Thailand, 21-17 21-15 in the quarter-finals.
The other semi-finals on Saturday see New Zealand 1’s Mike Watson and Sam O’Dea take on second seeds Wu Jiaxin and Li Jian of China 2. The Kiwis narrowly edged Qatar 2’s Cherif Younousse and Jefferson Santos Pereira 21-18 23-21, with Chinese Wu and Li spending 43 minutes in thrashing Indonesia 2’s Muhamad Ashfiya and Fahriansyah Fahriansyah 21-16 21-16 in the quarter-finals earlier.
Meanwhile, fourth seeds Vanuatu’s Miller Pata and Linlin Matauatu pulled off a stunning 21-19 21-16 victory over top seeds and the Asian Beach Games gold medallists Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova of Kazakhstan in the elimination round and later beat Indonesia 1’s Utami Putu and Juliana Dhita 21-12 18-21 15-8 in the quarter-finals to advance to the do-or-die semi-finals on Saturday.
The Vanuatu’s pairing next take on Australia 2’s Becchara Palmer and Tamsin Hinchley, who struggled hard to beat Thailand’s 2 Rumpaipruet Numwong and Khanittha Hongpak in thrilling three sets 21-14 18-21 21-18 in exhausting 62 minutes in the quarter-finals.
In the other semi-finals on Saturday, third seeds Thailand 1’s Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee, current world No.61 and silver medallists at the last year’s Asian Beach Games on home soil and the Asian Games in Incheon, Korea, will go up against second seeds Japan 1’s Takemi Nishibori and Sayaka Mizoe.
In the quarter-finals earlier, the Thai duo powered past Australia 1’s Mowen sisters, Jordan and Justine, 21-12 21-16, while Nishibori and Mizoe beat Shinako Tanaka and Ayumi Kusano 21-14 21-16 in the all-Japanese clash.
On Saturday, the semi-finals will be held from 10am, with the final men’s showdown taking place at 4pm and the women’s climax at 5pm.
Saturday’s Match Schedule (local time)
10am: women’s semi-finals: Thailand 1 v Japan 1
11am: men’s semi-finals: New Zealand 1 v China 2
4pm: men’s final
5pm: women’s final
10am: women’s semi-finals: Vanuatu v Australia 2
11am: men’s semi-finals: Kazakhstan 1 v Japan 1
3pm: women’s third-place playoff
3pm: men’s third-place playoff