Palembang, Indonesia, October 19, 2017 – The 6th South Sumatera Governor Cup AVC Beach Volleyball Tour Palembang Open 2017, a test event for Asian teams prior to their tough competition in the next year’s Asiad which would be co-hosted by Palembang and Jakarta, kicked off on Thursday, with beach spikers from 15 countries taking part.
Matches of the tournament are being held at the Palembang’s landmark stadium of Jakabaring, the venue that would host the upcoming 18th Asian Games in 2018 in Indonesia.
On the opening day of the men’s event, Omanis Nouh Al Jalbubi/Mazin Al Hashmi struggled hard to beat Indonesians Candra Rachmawan/Mohammad Ashfiya, winners at the last month’s 29th South East Asian (SEA) Beach Volleyball Championship in Singapore, in hard-fought three-set thriller 21-17 15-21 15-13 in exhausting 54 minutes, while another Indonesian pairing of Imtaq Shihab/Gunawan Dewantoro also suffered their first defeat 14-21 11-21 at the hands of Qataris Jefferson Santos Pereira/Julio Junior Do Nascimento. Gilang/Denang salvaged the pride for the host nation when they brushed off Maldives’ Ahmed Anil Nseer/Abdul Hameed Adnan 21-18 21-8.
Aussies Cole Durant/Paul Burnett fought hard against Aghmohammad Salagh/Abdolhamed Mirzaali to narrowly beat the Iranians 21-18 12-21 15-12, while Qatar claimed another victory in Cherif Samba Younousse/Ahmed Tijan Janko following their convincing 21-12 21-10 victory over Singaporeans Shen Mark/Poon Pei Jie.
In the women’s competition, Japan’s Sayaka Mizoe/Suzuka Hashimoto outclassed Koreans Yoon Hye-suk/Kim Hana 21-13 21-10. Two Thai pairings, Rumpaipruet Numwong/Khanittha Hongpak and Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee, enjoyed the first-day win with the former beating Indonesians Martha Rahawarin/Nur Atika Sari 21-11 21-7 and the latter thrashing Singaporeans Ng Serene/Ong Wei Yu 21-7 21-14.
Indonesians Desi Ratnasari/Yokebed Purari Eka struggled to beat Hong Kong’s Ting Chi Yuen/Wai Yan Au Yeung 21-10 17-21 15-5, but team-mates Martha Rahawarin/Nur Atka Sari suffered their two losses in a row after going down 10-21 15-21 to Kazakhstan’s Tatyana Mashkova/Bakhtygul Samalikova.
Mariafe Artacho Del Solar/Taliqua Clancy showed their glittering performance on Thursday by crushing Chinese Taipei’s Yu Ya-Hsuan/Pan Tzu-Yi 21-9 21-8 in just 26 minutes. Artacho Del Solar/Clancy have been regarded as tournament hot favourites for the women’s title after the Australian pairing made their mark to capture the World Tour Qinzhou Open and the Grand Front Osaka Open this month.
Players from 15 countries took part in the four-day, double-gender event. They comprised Oman, Indonesia, Singapore, Qatar, Iran, Maldives, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Chinese Taipei and Korea.
Participating teams were split into eight groups (Group A to Group H) to contest group round-robin preliminaries in the men’s event, while only six groups (Group A to Group F) were divided in the women’s category.
After the group round-robin preliminaries on Thursday, the tournament will run through Sunday.
Last year, Australia underlined their supremacy over the tournament following a clean sweep in both men’s and women’s titles. Australians Isaac Kapa/Chris McHugh took the men’s title, while Phoebe Bell/Becchara Palmer captured the women’s crown.
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