Satun, Thailand, April 9, 2018 – Seven Asian teams including four in the men’s event have booked their quarter-final berths in the FIVB World Tour SMM Pak Bara Beach Satun, as host players enjoyed the mixed luck on Monday and have to fight on to keep their quarter-final hopes alive.
Indonesians Candra Ade Rachamawan/Ashfiya Mohammad,Australians Zachery Schubert/Tim Dickson, and two teams from Iran, Raoufi Rahman/Abolhamed Mirzaali and Arash Vakili/Salemi Bahman, proved their invincibility on the first day of the main draw to top their pools. Winning two straight victories has ensured them eligibilities in the action-packed quarter-finals.
Indonesians Dhita Juliana/Utami Putu lead the Asian charge in the women’s competition, while Japan’s Sayaka Mizoe/Suzuka Hashimoto and Kazakhstan’s Tatyana Mashkova/Irina Tsimbalova also made a clean sweep in their pool plays to advance to the quarter-finals. Americans Ledoux were the only non-Asian players who have made their mark to secure their place in the quarter-finals.
Dhita/Putu, who emerged as the champions at the last year’s South East Asian Beach Volleyball Championships in Singapore, kicked off their campaign with 21-16 21-18 win over Thailand’s Pronsuda Kritsana/Yodsaphat Pakham and stormed on to beat Americans Irene Pollock/Amanda Dowdy 21-15 22-20.
Home players remain on course despite the fact that no Thai teams have yet to make the cut for the Tuesday’s quarter-finals and furthermore, three Thai teams including two in the women’s event had already lost twice in their pool plays and crashed out from the competition.
Home crowd favourites Varapatsorn Radarong/Thanarattha Udomchavee, champions at the Asian Beach Games in Danang, Vietnam two years ago and silver medallists at the previous Asian Games in Incheon, Korea in 2014, got the FIVB World Tour at home off to a great start with a convincing 21-15 21-10 win over Chinese Taipei’s Kou Nai-Harn/Liu Pi-Hsin, but could not maintain their fine form to go down fighting 20-22 14-21 to Japanese Sayaka Mizoe/Suzuka Hashimoto.
“To me, it’s not so satisfying. I’m not happy not because of the match result, but I could not regain my form. The first ball is also a far cry from what we have done well. Our reception is below standard and we could not control the game. However, we still have a chance to advance to the next round only if we have to beat our rivals in the Tuesday morning match,” Varapatsorn said.
Varapatsorn and Thanarattha are due to take on Japanese Yukako Suzuki/Kaho Sakaguchi, who edged Thailand’s Pronsuda Kritsana/Yodsaphat Pakham 22-20 21-18, in a must-win match on Tuesday for a place in the quarter-finals.
Team-mates Rumpaipruet Numwong/Khanittha Hongpak also had a mixed fortune on Monday. The Thai duo stormed past Spaniards Paula Soria Gutierrez/Maria Belen Carro Marquez de Acufia 21-15 21-15 in the morning but went down 21-18 11-21 4-15 to Kazakhs Tatyana Mashkova/Irina Tsimbalova in the afternoon encounter. The Thai pairing are due to play Indonesians Yokebed Eka/Desi Ratnassari in a do-or-die battle Tuesday.
Two local teams, Pronsuda Kritsana/Yodsaphat Pakham and Sumintra Sow/Chanthira Khanok, had their dreams of making the next round completely shattered following two straight losses in the main draw.
Like Thailand, Japan also had four teams in the women’s main draw, but only Yui Nagata/Minori Kumada succumbed to two losses in a row to be eliminated from the competition.
Meanwhile, in the men’s event, hosts Thailand had four teams in the main draw, but only three stood a chance of playing in the round of 12, with only the winners advancing to the afternoon quarter-finals. Thais Kiti Duangjinda/Narongdet Kangkon lost twice to suffer an early exit.
All eyes are on Iran when both of their teams, Raoufi Rahman/Abolhamed Mirzaali and Arash Vakili/Salemi Bahman, proved to be cream of the crop, making it two in a row to storm into the quarter-finals.
Beach spikers from 20 countries took part in the one-star, double-gender competition with US$10,000 prize money on offer. A total of 32 teams including 16 men’s competed in the Sunday’s qualification round with only four teams apiece in each gender safely through to the Monday’s main draw.
Four teams apiece in the men’s and women’s events topped their pools and ensured their quarter-final berths. Eight matches including four in the men’s event will be contested in the round of 12 on Tuesday, while only eight winning teams in that round will join the eight pool winners (four apiece in each gender) for the quarter-finals in the Tuesday afternoon.
For more information, match results and photos, please visit http://worldtour.2018.fivb.com/en/567/schedule#/d20180409
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