Beach Volleyball News

Kozhikode, Kerala, India, December 20, 2015 – Kazakhstan reigned supreme in the AVC Continental Cup Central Zone Beach Volleyball Championships with a clean sweep of both titles at stake in the three-day tournament which concluded on Sunday at Kozhikode in Kerala.

In the men’s competition, Kazakhstan struggled hard to beat Iran in a golden match in the final showdown. Experienced Alexey Kuleshov/Alexandr Dyachenko got Kazakhstan off to a great start with a magnificent come-from-behind 17-21 21-18 15-10 victory over Iranians Raoufi Rahman/Salemiinjehboroun Bahman.

However, Kazakhstan’s daunting task was stretched to three matches when Hoshmand Saber/Pourasgari Abbas made it 1-1 for Iran following their comeback 17-21 21-17 15-6 win over Sergey Bogatu/Dmitriy Yakovlev in the second encounter.

In the deciding golden match, Kazakhstan fielded their formidable pairing, Alexey Kuleshov/Alexandr Dyachenko, to power past Iranian old foes, Raoufi Rahman/Salemiiniehboroun Bahman, in hard-fought three-set thriller

21-12 16-21 15-10. Kazakhstan eventually captured the men’s title, with Iran in second position.

In the third-place playoff, India outclassed Sri Lanka 2-1, with Dhawasker Pralhad/Krishna Chaitanya Pennumuch helping put India back on the right track with consecutive wins in the last two matches after Sri Lanka sealed the first match victory.

Kumar Asanka/Ekanayake Pubudu Kumara handed Sri Lanka the first win after pulling off a 21-9 21-15 triumph over P Mohan/Balamani Sandra Alwar Rajamani, but Indians Dhawasker/Chaitanya beat Yapa/Sujeewa 21-14 21-16 for a 1-1 tie. The decider saw the same Indian pairing narrowly beat Asanka/Pubudu 21-19 21-19 to hand India the third position.

For the victory in this phase, champions Kazakhstan advanced to the Finals of the AVC Continental Cup in Australia next year, while second place Iran and third place India will have to next contest the next year’s Semi-finals in Thailand.

In the women’s showdown, Kazakhstan proved an impossible nut to crack for Sri Lanka after thrashing the inexperienced opponents 2-0 to capture the crown.

Tatyana Mashkova/Bakhtygul Samalikova spent only 23 minutes in crushing Kuda Kottnunnage Gunawardanal Geethika/Bogahalanda Gunasingha Gnanasagari in a totally lop-sided battle 21-8 21-9. Yekaterina Lassyuta/Irina Tsimbalova, who partnered Mashkova to win the gold medal at the last year’s Asian Beach Games in Phuket, Thailand, also proved too strong for Gunasinghe Hewayalage Nicosia Lakmini/Siriwardana Asha Nilmini Wickramaratne to tame the unfancied rivals 21-11 21-12 in 29 minutes.

India took the third place when KP Athira/Shahana Kozhikkatt Abdu came from  behind to beat Nepalese Budhathoki Binita/Bhandari Reshma in thrilling three sets 16-21 21-17 15-10. Only one match was contested in the third-place clash.

The winners Kazakhstan booked their berth for the next year’s Finals of the AVC Continental Cup in Australia, while second and third places Sri Lanka and India have to test their mettle in the Semi-Finals in Thailand.

Final rankings

Men

  1. Kazakhstan (qualified for the Finals in Australia)
  2. Iran (next play the Semi-finals in Thailand)
  3. India (next play the Semi-finals in Thailand)
  4. Sri Lanka
  5. Maldives

Women

  1. Kazakhstan (qualified for the Finals in Australia)

2. Sri Lanka (next play the Semi-finals in Thailand)

3. India (next play the Semi-finals in Thailand)

4. Nepal

5. Maldives

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