QATARIS SEND TOP SEEDS PACKING IN 2018 ASIAN SENIOR BEACH VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS IN SATUN
Satun, Thailand, September 26, 2018 – Reigning Asian Games champions Ahmed Janko/Cherif Samba proved too strong for Thailand’s Nuttanon Inkiew and Sedtawat Padsawud to brush off the home favorites in straight sets 21-13, 21-16 in the round of the last 16 teams on Day 3 of the 2018 Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships on Wednesday.
A large number of home spectators survived scorching heat to watch the games at the venue and boost their favorite teams morale in order that they can advance to the next round after the preliminary pool plays.
In the men’s event, top seeds Nattanon/Sedtawat, who made much of the impact after capturing the unprecedented FIVB 1-Star World Tour Pak Bara Beach Satun title early this year at this venue, recovered from the Tuesday’s stunning loss to the Japanese pair of Ageba/Nishimura to beat Hong Kong China’s Lam/Chui 2-0 (21-15, 21-17) in their last Pool A match and advance to the round of 16.
But their run came to a halt when they were knocked out of the tournament by second seeds Ahmed Tijan/Cherif of Qatar who earlier topped Pool B after claiming three consecutive victories in their pool plays.
Both teams showed some great rallies in the beginning of the first two sets, but it was the Qataris who stole the show and came out on top at the end.
“We are very happy to beat the Thai team in the round of 16 teams. We played aggressively and tried to finish the game. In the quarter-finals we have yet to know who we will play next, but of course I’am sure it is going to be a tough match. We will try to play according to our game plan and hope that we will win again,” Cherif said after the match.
Also out of the tournament were third seeds and Pool D winners Gao Peng/Yang Li from China. The Chinese duo lost to Kazakhs Sergey Bogatu/Dmitry Yakovlev in straight sets 17-21,17-21.
The other men’s pairing advancing to the quarter-finals were Iranians Rahman Raoufi/Abdolhamed Mirzaali who defeated Thailand 2’s Surin Jongklang/Adisorn Khaolumtarn 2-0 (21-19, 21-13) and Kazakhs Sidorenko/Dyachenko in their 2-0 (21-12, 21-18) victory over Nouh/Mazin of Oman.
In the women’s competition, top seeds and crowd favorites Varapatsorn Radarong/Khanittha Hongpak struggled hard to beat Bakhtygul Samalikova/Alina Rachenko from Kazakhstan in an epic three-set thriller 19-21, 21-15, 16-14.
The Thai duo topped Pool A after winning two matches in a row and will be up against Lingdi Zhu/Mei Mei M.M Lin of China in the next match of elimination round.
Another Thai pair who emerged victorious were Tanarattha Udomchavee/Rumpaipruet Numwong as they pulled off a dramatic 2-1 (21-19, 18-21,15-8) win over Australians Laird/Kendall.
“I am quite satisfied with our performance today although we had to play them in three sets. They are World Tour players. We played well in the first set but committed too many unforced errors in the second set. Actually, we trained together just for three weeks after the Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia, so we still need time to connect and adjust something,” Tanarattha said after the match.
Nonetheless, a daunting task awaits the host team when they will next face the Asiad fourth place Mashkova/Tsimbalova from Kazakhstan.
“Our expectation in this tournament cannot be that high, but we just want to show our best in every match we play,” she added.
The quest for the title in Satun remains possible for Australian second seeds Taliqua Clancy/Artacho Del Solar who got the tournament off to a flying start. They sealed two victories in their Pool B encounter including a convincing 21-18, 21-13 win over the host pair of Pawarun/Thatsarida.
“Today was the first day for us to play our games. I am very excited to start off the tournament. I think we had a really strong start this morning and I think that really helped us when we played against the Thai girls who were a bit tougher and stronger opponents. They played very well so I am very happy to get the win,” said Clancy.
The Aussies will next take on Take/Kusano from Japan.
The round of the last 16 teams in the five-day competition will take place on Thursday morning for women’s competition with quarter-finals being held in the afternoon for both genders.
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