QATARIS TO TEST METTLE WITH IRANIANS IN MEN’S FINAL SHOWDOWN OF 2018 ASIAN SENIOR BV CHAMPIONSHIPS
Satun, Thailand, September 27, 2018 – Second seeds Ahmed Janko/Cherif Samba from Qatar cruised to the men’s final of the SMM Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships after a convincing 21-15, 21-14 win over Kazakhs Alexey Sidorenko/Alexandr Dyachenko in the semi-final matchup on Thursday.
The Qataris, who first burst into prominence after capturing the recent 18th Asian Games gold medal in Palembang, Indonesia, earlier beat Iranians Rahman Raoufi /Abdolhamed Mirzaali 2-0 (21-14, 21-19) in the quarter-finals. The superb duo continued their remarkable unbeaten run to storm past the Kazakhs without much trouble in the afternoon’s semi-final match.
“Today was a very good game for us. It is also a great pleasure for us to come here again and play in the final. We just tried to hang in there and keep our level high as we can. I am very happy with the result,” said Cherif, who has been partnering Ahmed for one year.
With the scintillating win, Ahmed and Cherif set up the final showdown with Iranians Salemi B./A.Vakili, who thrashed Kazakhs Bogatu/Yakovlev in a comfortable contest 21-13, 21-15 in the other semi-final clash.
“They are a very good team, but we will try not to think about the result. We just want to maintain our level and the way we played today when we go up against them in the final. We will try our best to beat them,” he added.
In the women’s competition, hopes of the host country entirely shattered when top seeds Varapatsorn Radarong/Khanittha Hongpak could not live up to home crowd’s expectations as they crashed out in the quarter-finals. The Thai pairing fell victims to Chinese Wang Fan/Chen Xue 2-0 (12-21, 27-29). Wang Fan claimed gold medal at the Palembang Asian Games, but there, she partnered Xia Xinyi to hand China the title five times in succession.
“We prepared well before the game as we knew Thailand are a very good team with high experience. They played very well in attack, so we tried to focus on our reception,” Chen said after the match.
Wang/Xue will next take on Wang Xin Xin/Xia Xinyi in the all-Chinese semi-final affair. Xia Xinyi has already won Asian Games gold medal for two times in a row including the 2014 edition in Incheon, Korea with partner Ma Yuanyuan.
Also advancing to the semi-finals were second seeds Clancy/Artacho Del Solar from Australia following a comprehensive 2-0 (13-21, 13-21) win over Mizoe/Hashimoto of Japan. Next up for the Aussies are Miki Ishii/Megumi Murakami, silver medallists at the Asian Games in Palembang. The Japanese pairing defeated Mashkova/Tsimbalova from Kazakhstan 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) in the round of last eight teams.
The women’s semi-finals will take place in Friday morning with the medal matches of both genders being held in the afternoon followed by the awards presentation and closing ceremony.
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