Satun, Thailand, April 9, 2017 – Strong teams got off to a great start to thrash unfancied rivals and top their respective pools in the women’s event, while tournament ’s top seeds Julio/Ahmed Tijan from Qatar suffered a shock 1-2 defeat to Iran1’s Raoufi/Salemi in the men’s competition on the opening day of the SMM AVC Beach Tour Est Cola 2nd Satun Pak Bara Master on Saturday.
A large number of home spectators turned out to watch the action-packed competition to support their favorite teams which saw strong teams enjoy a field day to make it to the next round after the preliminary pool plays.
In the men’s event, top seeds Julio/Ahmed Tijan ,who finished third place last year, started strongly in Pool A to beat Maldives1’s Anil / Adnan in straight sets 21-11, 21-13, but went down to the Iranian pairing of Raoufi /Salemi 1-2 sets 19-21, 21-15, 12-15.
Raoufi/Salemi will next play Anil/Adnan to determine which team will advance to the next round.
“Firstly I would like to thank the organizing committee for hosting this tournament impressively. I have been impressed by the Thai hospitality. They are very nice and friendly. Thailand is a beautiful country and we are happy to be here. Today we played well and we are happy to win this match. Against Maldives tomorrow, it is always tough for us no matter with whom we will play, but we will try our best to finish at top of the pool to advance to the next round,” Raoufi said after the match.
Australian second seeds McHugh/Schumann topped Pool B as expected after pulling off a straight-set 21-16, 21-17 victory over Japan2’s Hurasaka/Hasegawa. The formidable Aussies later repeated the similar feat over Li Zhuoxin/W. Zhou as they thrashed the Chinese pair in straight sets 21-12, 22-20.
“Today we pretty had tough matches against Japan and China. We just wanted to win all the matches on the opening day and we are happy to top the pool. Now we are looking forward to the round of the last 16 teams. We are very excited to play here in Satun. I really enjoy playing here. It is a great tournament,” said McHugh, who partnered Kapa to capture the first tittle in Satun last year.
Kazakhstan’s Alexandr Dyachenko/Alexey Sidorenko, gold medalists at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Korea and the last year’s runners up, also sealed two victories on Saturday. They first showed no mercy to Kelvin/Lam to crush the Hong Kong 1’s duo 21-15, 21-15 before powering past Oman2’s Ahmed/Badar 21-19,b21-18 to top Pool C.
Qatar2’s Jefferson/Cherif claimed two straight-set victories to top Pool D. They first produced a sensational 21-8, 21-12 victory over Thailand 2’s Adisorn /Marudet before defeating Japan1’s Takahashi/Shiratori 21-15,21-14.
In the women’s competition, Thailand 1’s Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchawee, silver medallists at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and the 2014 Phuket Asian Beach Games, did not let their home fans down when they put on exceptional performances to snatch two wins including the 21-18 21-17 victory over Japan2’s Hasegawa/Fatami.
“We were quite satisfied with our performance today, but we have to reduce some easy mistakes if we want to go further. We will not focus on our opponents we will face in the next round, but we will stay focused on our team. Our goal is to win this tournament,”said Tanarattha.
Kazakh eight seeds Tatyana Mashkova/Irina Tsimbalova, winners at the 2014 Asian Beach Games in Phuket , Thailand and the last year’s runners up, silenced the home crowds with a comfortable 21-14 21-11 win over Thailand 2’s Rumpaipruet Numwong/Khanittha Hongpak.
“This is our first tournament of the year and we trained hard before coming here. Today we played step by step and our game plan worked out pretty well. I am very happy to win this match. I hope we will get the medal again this year,” said Mashkova
The quest for the title in Satun remained possible for Australian second seeds Phoebe Bell and Nicole Laird, following their two consecutive wins over Thailand 3 and Vietnam 1. Laird, who last year teamed up with Mariafe Artacho Del Solar claimed the titles both at Pakbara Satun and Samila, Songkhla.
The four-day competition at Pak Bara Beach in Satun continues on Sunday with the final men’s and women’s contests being held on Tuesday’s evening.
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