Satun, Thailand, April 11, 2017 – Qataris Jefferson Pereira/Cherif Yunousse regained their aura of invincibility following a comfortable 21-9 21-15 victory over Indonesians Candra Rachmawan/Mohammad Asfiya in the men’s final clash, as Chinese Wang Fan/Yue Yuan captured the women’s crown at the SMM AVC Beach Tour Est Cola 2nd Satun Pak Bara Master on Tuesday.
Pereira and Yunousse, who stole the limelight last year to win gold medal at the Danang-hosted Asian Beach Games in Vietnam and repeated the similar feat to clinch the Kish Island Open in Iran the same year, brushed off Candra and Mohammad in just 33 minutes in a battle which turned out to be a totally lop-sided affair before a large crowd of Thai audience at the venue.
The 182cm-tall Pereira used his height advantage to block effectively and penetrate the Indonesian defence with his exceptional attacks to help Qatar take the easy first set 21-9. Candra and Mohammad tried to make a comeback, but their intention was not fruitful when Pereira and Yunousse combined well to foil the rivals’ determined attempts. The Qatari tandem snatched the second set 21-15 and the men’s title.
“We played well today. We played according to our own game plan. We tried to maintain thesame level and then we won. We have prepared and trained hard since the beginning of the year as we would like to focus on this tournament. This competition is excellent and it’s also my first time in lovely province of southern Thailand. For the next tournament at the Asian Championships in Samila, Songkhla, we would like to continue our good form to win the tournament again out there. We will try our best,” Qatari Cherif said after the match.
In the third-place playoff earlier, Australians Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann overpowered Qatari top seeds Julio Nascimento/Ahmed Tijan in convincing straight sets 21-15 21-16. McHugh partnered Isaac Kapa to win the inaugural Pak Bara Open here last year.
Gold medallists Qataris Jefferson Pereira/Cherif Yunousse took home US$ 3,750 cash prize, with silver medallists Candra Rachmawan/Mohammad Asfiya claiming US$3,000. Australians Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann had to be content with bronze medal and US$ 2,250 cash.
In the women’s showdown, China 1’s Wang Fan and Yue Yuan, who have partnered together for five years, survived a serious threat from Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy to pull off a hard-fought 21-18 23-21 victory over the Australians in a 39-minute battle.
“I am very happy to beat the Australian team. It was a really difficult match for us as they are a very tall team with good defense. The key to our victory today is we tried to put pressure on them by means of our powerful serves and it worked out well. We hope to do our best again in the next tournament in Songkhla,” said Wang Fan.
Despite the loss, the Aussies said they will take the positives from their performance in this tournament.
“Congrats to them for being on top of the tournament. They gave us a very tough match today. They played so well with effective serves and they were also very good at the net. But we are happy to be on the podium in this tournament. We will do our best again next week. Hopefully, we will get the gold medal,” Bawden said.
Meanwhile, home spectators had something to cheer about when local favourites Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee, who won gold medal at the last year’s Asian Beach Games in Vietnam and silver medal at the Asian Games in Incheon, Korea, thrashed Japanese Yukako Suzuki and Miki Ishii 21-16 21-17 to claim bronze medal.
For the victory, Chinese Wang Fan and Yue Yuan claimed US$3,750 cash, while silver medallists Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy from Australia and bronze medallists Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee from Thailand took home US$3,000 and US$2,250 respectively.
Satun Govenor Pattarapol Ratanapichetchai presided over the awards presentation and the closing ceremony, with Somporn Chaibangyang, president of the Thailand Volleyball Association, and AVC Secretary General Mr. Shanrit Wongprasert in attendance as guests of honour.
On Wednesday, all the participants will move on to Songkhla, where they will put their expertise to the test at the SMM Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships at the Samila Beach in Songkhla between April 14 and 17.
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