Satun, Thailand, April 9, 2017 – Top seeds Julio/Ahmed Tijan from Qatar remained on course after powering past third seeds and last year’s runners-up Sidorenko/Dyachenko of Kazakhstan 2-1 (17-21, 21-17, 18-16) to set up a quarter-final clash with Australia 2’s Durant/Schubert at the SMM AVC Beach Tour Est Cola 2nd Satun Pak Bara Master in Satun, a province on the southern Andaman Coast of Thailand.
After losing to the Iranian pair on Saturday at the preliminary pool plays, Julio/Ahmed Tijan came back strongly to overcome a tough challenge from the Kazakh team in the round of the last 16 teams on the second day of the four-day tournament. The top seeds are next scheduled to challenge Durant/Schubert, who stormed past Indonesia2’s Gilang/Danang 2-1 (17-21, 21-15, 11-15).
“We played really well today after a bad form yesterday against Iran. It was a very tough match today but we are very happy to beat the Kazakhstan team as they are the tournament’s third seeds. We tried to play more aggressively on attacks and it worked well,” Ahmed Tijan
“This tournament is good for every team as it is a qualification tournament to accumulate points to qualify for the world championships. Tomorrow we have to play our best again against the Australian team,” they added.
Despite the searing heat on the second day, thousands of spectators thronged into the competition venue to support their favourite teams.
In the other men’s competition, Australia 1’s Schuman/McHugh, who just captured the title at the Australian Beach Tour on their home soil, continued their unbeaten run to thrash Hong Kong’s Kelvin/Lam 21-11, 21-18 in the round of 16 to next face New Zealand’s O’Dea B./O’Dea S, who beat Iran’s A. Pourasgari/A.Vakili in straight sets 21-19, 21-14 in the quarter-finals.
The hard-fought 18-21, 21-19, 15-11 win over the tall and towering Yakovlev/Kuleshov of Kazakhstan 2 earned Thailand1’s Nuttanon/Sedtawat a place in Monday morning’s quarter-finals, where they are scheduled to play Qataris Jefferson/Cherif, who performed superbly to beat Japan’s Kurasaka/Hasegawa in straight sets 21-13, 21-9 in the quarter-finals.
“I feel happy to get through to the quarter-finals. We didn’t start well in the first set.They put pressure us on effective services and we also committed so many unforced errors. Against Qatar tomorrow, we have to play a fast game as they are a very tall team. I teamed up with Sedtawat at the previous Asian Beach Games where we finished fifth place. I would like to thank the Thai fans who came cheer us. Our goal is to finish among the top four teams,” said Nattanon after the match.
In the women’s event, Thailand 1’s Varapatsorn Radarong/ Tanarattha Udomchavee, silver medallists at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and the Phuket Asian Beach Games the same year, lived up to the crowds’ expectations as they pulled off a sensation 21-15, 21-9 victory over Hong Kong’s Tin/Lai/Yuen Mei .The Thai pair will next face New Zealand 1’s Tilley/Bain who beat compatriots Polley/Willis 21-12, 18-21, 11-15.
The other women’s quarter-final match, Australia 1’s Bawden/Clancy powered past Khantarak/Laosaengsa of Thailand 2 in straight sets 21-12, 21-18 to next go up against the last year’s runners-up Mashkova/Samalikova of Kazakhstan who eliminated Joe/Matauatu of Vanuatu in straight sets 14-21, 15-21.
“The Thai girls played very well and they are the youngest girls we met on tour. They are a very good with good service. It was really difficult for us to beat them. Congrats to them for playing really good tournament. They are a very solid team. This tournament is really good. Thailand is always a great destination, a beautiful country and amazing crowds. I really enjoy playing here and hopefully we can go to the final round. There are so many strong teams in this tournament, but I think the Chinese and Japanese teams will be the toughest opponents,”said Bawden
It was a shock match of the day when Japan2’s Suzuki/Ishii ousted Australian Bell/Laird, who partnered Mariafe Artacho del Solar to claim the title last year, 2-1 (21-12, 18-21, 15-13).
“I don’t know what to say but it was a very good match. They are a very tough team. I feel very happy for this win. We have just teamed up and trained together for 3 months before coming here. I have a good time in Thailand. Thai people are very nice and the weather is great. Let’s see how far we can go in this tournament,” said Suzuki.
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