QATARIS AND AUSSIES SHARE HONOUR AT 2018 ASIAN SENIOR BEACH VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Satun, Thailand, September 28, 2018 – Qataris Ahmed Janko/Cherif Samba stamped their dominance over the SMM 2018 Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships following a convincing straight-set 21-18, 21-11victory over Iranians Bahman Salemi/Arash Vakili in the men’s showdown on Friday, as Aussies Taliqua Clancy/Mariafe Artacho Del Solar captured the women’s crown.
Ahmed /Cherif, who claimed the gold medal at the recent 18th Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia, remained in formidable form and did not lose a set en route to the final showdown against Salemi/Vakili on Friday afternoon at the Pak Bara Beach in Satun, a southern town of Thailand on Andaman coast.
Both teams got off to a great start in the opening set which saw them trade point by point to entertain the home fans with their exceptional tactics and form to level at 12-12. From then on, the Iranians became prone to unforced errors, allowing the Qatari pair a good chance to capitalize the opponents’ mistakes and storm back with their fine attacks and disguised drop shots to win the exciting first set 21-18.
In the second set, it was the Qatar’s tandem who showed off their full repertoire of skills defensively and offensively. They continued their aggression and consistency to win the entirely one-sided set 21-11, match and the title.
“It was a really nice game to play with our level. It is also a very nice experience to come here and play in the final again. We just played a good defense and concentrated on our side-outs. And I think we played more aggressively than our rivals. I am very happy for the victory,” said Cherif.
For Qatar, the 15th edition in Satun here on Sunday was their maiden victory in the Asian Championships. Since the tournament’s inception in 2002, Australia and Indonesia captured 4 titles apiece, China won 3, Iran took 2 and Kazakhstan claimed one.
Next up for the Qatari duo will be the FIVB World Tour 4-star tournament in China followed by 4-star in USA and AVC Masters on home soil in Doha.
“I hope we continue our level like this out there. I wish we would have a good result,” he added.
The bronze medal went to Sidorenko/Dyachenko, who beat Bogatu/Yakovlev in straight sets 2-0 (21-14, 21-16) in the all-Kazakhs, third-place playoff.
For the victory, Ahmed /Cherif received the Champion’s Trophy plus US$7,500 cash prize, while silver medallists Salemi B./A.Vakili from Iran collected US$6,500, with Kazakhs Sidorenko/Dyachenko taking home U$4,500.
Meanwhile, the final showdown of women’s contest turned out to be a clash of the Titans and the last year’s rematch of the two nations when Taliqua Clancy/Mariafe Artacho Del Solar from Australia survived a scare from Wang Fan/Xue Chen to beat the Chinese rivals in heart-pounding three-setter 21-17, 19-21, 15-9.
“I am very excited and very happy to win this tournament. It is a very important event. We (Australia) have been the Asian champions, so I am very proud of what we have achieved. China are a very tough team. We like playing them because we know we have to bring out our best to beat them. The condition here is quite tough for us. It was quite windy, so we could not control the ball well in the second set. Fortunately, it did not affect much in the third set,”said Taliqua, who last year partnered Louise Bawden to capture the Asian crown on Samila Beach in Songkhla, Thailand following a sensational straight-set win over Chinese Wang Fan/Yue Yuan in the showdown.
“We are going to play 4-star in China in the next couple weeks,” added Taliqua, who teamed up with Artacho Del Solar to hand Australia the silver medal at this year’s Commonwealth Games on home soil at Gold Coast.
Japanese Miki Ishii/Megumi Murakami, silver medalists at the recent Asian Games, had to be content with bronze medal as they recovered from one set down to beat another Chinese pairing of Wang Xin Xin/Xia Xinyi 2-1 (18-21, 21-10, 15-11).
Australians Taliqua/Mariafe claimed US$7,500 prize money for their triumph in the women’s event. Silver medallists Wang/Xue pocketed US$6,000, with bronze medallists Japanese Ishii/Murakami claiming US$4,500.
Mr Somporn Chaibangyang, president of the Thailand Volleyball Association, and Satun Govenor Pattarapol Ratanapichetchai jointly presided over the awards presentation and closing ceremony.
Semi-finals: Selemi B./A. Vakili (Iran) b Bogatu/Yakovlev (Kazakhstan) 2-0 (21-13 21-15); Ahmed Tijan/Cherif (Qatar) b Sidorenko/Dyachenko (Kazakhstan) 2-0 (21-15 21-14)
Bronze-medal match: Sidorenko/Dyachenko (Kazakhstan) b Bogatu/Yakovlev (Kazakhstan) 2-0 (21-14 21-16)
Gold-medal match: Ahmed Tijan/Cherif (Qatar) b Salemi B./A. Vakili (Iran) 2-0 (21-18 21-11)
Semi-finals: Wang/Xue (China) b Wang X.X/Xia Xinyi (China) 2-0 (21-0 21-0) forfeit of team B; Clancy/Artacho Del Solar (Australia) b Ishii/Murakami (Japan) 2-0 (21-14 21-19)
Bronze-medal match: Ishii/Murakami (Japan) b Wang X.X/Xia Xinyi (China) 2-1 (18-21 21-10 15-11)
Gold-medal match: Clancy/Artacho Del Solar (Australia) b Wang/Xue (China) 2-1 (21-17 19-21 15-9)
FINAL RANKING (selected)
2. Salemi B./A.Vakili (Iran)
3. Sidorenko/Dyachenko (Kazakhstan)
4. Bogatu/Yakovlev (Kazakhstan)
5. Durant/Schumann (Australia); Raoufi R./A. Mirzaali (Iran); Ageba/Nishimura (Japan); Nichlin/Hartles (New Zealand)
9. Dickson/Ferguson (Australia); Ha Likejiang/Wu Jiaxin (China); P. Gao/Y. Li (China); Gilang/Imtaq (Indonesia); Nouh/Mazin (Oman); Nuttanon I./Sedtawat P. (Thailand); Surin J./Adisorn K. (Thailand); Phichakon N./Phanupong T. (Thailand)
1. Clancy/Artacho Del Solar (Australia)
2. Wang/Xue (China)
3. Ishii/Murakami (Japan)
4. Wang X.X./Xia Xinyi (China)
5. Mizoe/Hashimoto (Japan); Mashkova/Tsimbalova (Kazakhstan); Varapatsorn Radarong/Khanittha Hongpak (Thailand); Kou Naihan/Liu P.H. (Chinese Taipei)
9. Laird/Kendall (Australia); Zhu Lingdi/M.M. Lin (China); Take/Susano (Japan); Samaikova/Rachenko (Kazakhstan); Kirwan/MacDonald (New Zealand); Pawarun/Thatsarida (Thailand); Thanarattha Udomchavee/Rumpaiprute Numwong (Thailand); Yu Y.H./Pan T.Y. (Chinese Taipei)
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