Ha Long, Vietnam, April 28, 2016 – Australians Mariafe Artacho Del Solar/Nicole Laird snatched their first win in the 2016 AVC Women’s Beach Tour – Tuan Chau Ha Long Open after brushing off Vietnam 3’s Mai Thi Hoa/Nguyen Thi Tiep in comfortable straight sets 21-13 21-14 in just 27 minutes on Thursday.
Australia 1’s Artacho Del Solar/Laird are hot-favourites to capture the Ha Long Open. The current world U23 champions have proved that they are the strongest team to be reckoned with in Vietnam as they swept both titles in Thailand consisting of the Pak Bara Open in Satun and the Samila Open in Songkhla early this month. They also took silver medal at the Asian Championships at home at Manly Beach in Sydney last month aside from claiming a bronze medal at the last week’s Palembang Open.
After thrashing the host players in Pool A, the Australian duo now face a daunting challenge against China 2’s Wang Xinxin/Ding Jingjing on Friday in their second match of the pool round-robin preliminaries.
Australia 2’s Phoebe Bell/Becchara Palmer, fresh from winning the Palembang Open in Indonesia, were in great from to outclass Thailand 2’s Pakham/Khanok 21-11 21-14 in a one-sided battle in Pool D.
In Pool B, Thailand 1’s Ariya Laosaengsa/Kijja Khantarak enjoyed a mixed fortune on the opening day of the four-day event. The Thai pairing first struggled to beat Vietnam 2’s Nguyen Thi Thanh Tram/Thu Thi Thu Van 2-1 22-24 21-18 15-9, but suffered a straight-set 11-21 12-21 loss to much stronger China 1’s Chen Chunxia/Tang Ningya in their second match later.
Facing the similar situation as the Thailand 1’s duo were Japan 1’s Keiko Utara/Hiroko Matsuyama. The Japanese duo first went down to New Zealand’s Julia Tilley/Alice Bain to beat Hong Kong’s Ng Tin Lai/Wong Yen Mei 21-11 21-19 in their second encounter.
The preliminaries of Ha Long Open continue on Friday, with the semi-finals and the final showdown taking place on April 30 and May 1 respectively.