STRONG TEAMS OUTCLASS LOWER-RANKED RIVALS ON DAY 1 OF MAIN DRAW AT 2018 ASIAN SENIOR BV CHAMPIONSHIPS
Satun, Thailand, September 25, 2018 – Favourite teams kicked off their campaigns with convincing wins over unfancied rivals in their respective pools in the opening day main draw of the SMM 2018 Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships on Tuesday.
In the men’s competition, home favourites and top-seeds Nuttanon Inkiew and Sedtawat Padsawud, who earlier this year captured their unprecedented win at the FIVB 1-star World Tour Pak Bara Beach Satun here, had a mixed fortune on the first day. In the first match, the Thais shrugged off sluggish start to clinch the hard-fought 2-1 (18-21, 21-15, 15-12) win over qualifiers Mahmoud/Tamer of Qatar, but things turned sour for them later on when they went down to Japanese Ageba/Nishimura in thrilling three-setter 1-2 (15-21, 21-17, 12-15) in their second encounter.
The host duo will next take on Hong Kong China’s Lam/Chui, who also lost to the Japanese pairing 19-21, 17-21, in the last encounter of Pool A in a must-win match to be the top two slots advancing to the next round.
“We committed too many mistakes today and didn’t play our game. They played better in some crucial points, so I would like to congratulate them for the victory. We will next play Hong Kong China and we will try our best to beat them to enhance our chance of making the next round,” Nattanon said after the match.
Second-seeds Ahmed Janko/Cherif Samba from Qatar, who last month claimed gold medal at the 18th Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia, remained in irresistible form in Pool B when they beat Saudi Arabians Mahmoud Ali/ Alkhawaher Dhia in comfortable straight sets 21-12, 21-14. The formidable Qataris later repeated the similar feat over Kingsley Tay Z. H. K./Shen Fan Yang as they thrashed the Singaporean pair 2-0 (21-15, 21-11).
“First of all, thanks God that we won. The weather condition is not easy to play two games in one day as it is quite windy here. It is really great that we won two games in a row, but we still have not showed our best level. To win the tournament, we still have many tough games coming. Against Oman tomorrow, we will try to beat them to capture the top spot in our pool,” Charif said.
Third seeds Peng Gao/Yang Li from China also enjoyed two straight victories when they recorded a 2-1 (21-10, 18-21, 15-10) win over Chinese Taipei’s Chenwei Hsu/Shinshian Wu before ending the first day match by defeating Raja Nazmi/Rafi from Malaysia 2-0 (21-14, 21-12). Peng /Yang will next go up against Indonesians Gilang Ramadhan/Imtaq Shihab to decide the Pool C winners.
In the women’s competition, local hopefuls and the tournament’s top seeds Varapatsorn Radarong with her new partner Khanittha Hongpak did not let home fans down when they put on exceptional performances to seal two wins in succession including the gritty 2-0 (21-10, 21-13) victory over Indonesians Yokebed/Sari.
“ Our connection is not yet perfect. We have just trained together for 3 weeks. It is a big challenge to play together. We still have room for improvement. Varapatsorn has more experience and it will be very useful for me,” said Khanittha.
The host side will next play Kazakhs Bakhtygul Samalikova/Alina Rachenko to decide the Pool A winners.
“We will focus on ourselves first how we can play and keep forward. We will study their tape. They are a young team with good future. They also changed partner like us,” she added.
Kazakh 13th-seeds Tatyana Mashkova/Irina Tsimbalova, fourth place at the recent Asian Games, were also on cloud nine when they registered two wins in a row including a one-sided 21-12, 21-9 victory over Eliza E. Chong/Shan Lau E. S from Singapore.
“We are very happy to win the first two matches in this competition. We got two easy wins, but the weather condition was not good as it was quite windy. I hope things will get better and I hope we can go far in this tournament,” said Mashkova.
The five-day competition at Pak Bara Beach in Satun here continues on Wednesday in the pool round-robin preliminaries with the final men’s and women’s contests being held on Friday’s evening.
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