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China, Japan set up women’s final showdown in Asian U21 Beach Volleyball Championships in Thailand

Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand, March 2, 2016 – Chinese Chen Jiali/Li Jiaomei sank Thai hearts by putting it past Thailand 2’s Pornsuda Krisana/Saowaros Tangkaeo to set up the women’s final showdown with Japan in the “SMM” Asian U21 Est Cola Beach Volleyball Championships 2016 at Rim Ping Beach in Kamphaeng Phet on Wednesday.

Local hopefuls Pornsuda and Saowaros pulled off a scintillating 21-13 21-9 victory over New Zealand 1’s Rachel Gunn/Antonia Harrison in the morning quarter-finals not only to advance to the semi-finals, but also secure their berth to compete in the FIVB U21 Beach Volleyball World Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland from May 11 to 16.

However, the Thai duo’s sweet dreams of getting through to the final clash were entirely swept away by Chen and Li in the semi-finals. The Chinese pairing fought back aggressively after going down in the closely-contested first set 19-21 to win the remaining two sets 21-12 15-7.

Despite the loss, Pornsuda and Saowaros made the cut for the world meet as, according to the AVC’s quotas, top five teams in each gender will qualify for the Lucerne meet.

“Our opponents are different from the team we met in the morning. The Chinese players (Chen Jiali and Li Jiaomei) took the height advantage at the net and covered the court very well while we committed too many errors and our first-ball reception didn’t work well, so we couldn’t attack them effectively. Tomorrow (Thursday), we will play Australia 1 to fight for the third place. We will go back and prepare for the match. We played one of them before when she partnered the other player,” Saowaros commented after the team’s loss to China.

In the Thursday’s final clash, Chinese Chen and Li will go up against Japanese Reina Murakami/Hana Deguchi, who overpowered Australia 1’s Brittany Kendall/Shelby Maher in comfortable straight sets 21-16 21-18 in the other semi-final clash.

“We are very happy to win this semi-final match and that gave us a chance to prove our ability in the final. I admit that the Australians are very tough, but they came up with more unforced mistakes than us. Today is ours. We will try our best to win again in the final tomorrow (Thursday). This is our first time playing in Thailand. It is very hot here, but everything is great. Thank all Thai fans who cheered us,” said a joyful Reina Murakami of Japan.

Meanwhile, two Thai pairings, Banlue Nakprakhong/Marudet Buntem and Thanachod Thanthawat/Surin Jongklang, made the host country proud as both teams stormed their ways to the Thursday’s semi-finals in the men’s competition.

Thailand 1’s Banlue/Marudet are scheduled to challenge strongly-built top seeds Maximilian Guehrer/Jonathan Hunt of Australia 1 in the first semi-final encounter, with Thailand 2’s Thanachod Thanthawat/Surin Jongklang pitted against China 1’s Zhou Chaowei/Yan Tingyang in the other semi-final match.

Australia 1’s Guehrer/Hunt performed well as they lived up to top seeds’ billing to power past Thailand 3, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong 2 with all straight-set victories, while Thailand 1’s Banlue/Marudet also made their mark to beat China 2. Japan, Thailand 3 and Kazakhstan 2, all in straight sets en route to their semi-finals.

Thailand 2’s Thanachod/Surin found their touch to brush aside Hong Kong 1, Oman 2 and Kazakhstan 1 but went down 0-2 to China 1 in their pool round-robin preliminaries. However, the Thai duo still entered the semi-finals. With their two teams advancing to the semi-finals, Thailand are now sure of having at least one team to secure their place in the world meet in Lucerne, Switzerland.

On Thursday, the third-place playoff and the final showdown in the women’s event as well as the men’s playoffs, semi-finals and final will be held, with the first match starting at 9am at Rim Ping Beach, Kamphaeng Phet. The awards presentation and the closing ceremony will be followed shortly after the conclusion of all matches.

WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS

WOMEN’S TEAM

SECOND ROUND

Brittany Kendall/Shelby Maher (Australia 1) b Kaewta Noramart/Phatsurinyo Inchaiya (Thailand 1) 2-1 (15-21 24-22 15-13)

Reina Murakami/Hana Deguchi (Japan) b Alex Lawrence/Anilise Fitzi (New Zealand 2) 2-0 (21-6 21-13

Chen Jiali/Li Jiaomei (China) v Ioti Joe/Sherysyn Toko (Vanuatu) 2-0 (21-19 21-10)

Pornsuda Kritsana/Saowaros Tangkaeo (Thailand 2) b Rachel Gunn/Antonia Harrison (New Zealand 1) 2-0 (21-13 21-9)

RANKED 9-12

Yue Oi Yan/Tsang Tsz Hung (Hong Kong) lost to Thatdaow Yanram/Preeyapa Nantawee (Thailand 3) 0-2 (9-21 9-21)

Chong Hui Hui, Eliza/Lee Gladys (Singapore) lost to Caitlin Bettenay/Georgia Johnson (Australia 2) 1-2 (14-21 21-19 11-15)

RANKED 5-8

Kaewta Noramart/Phatsurinyo Inchaiya (Thailand 1) b Alex Lawrence/Anilise Fitzi (New Zealand 2) 2-0 (21-10 25-23)

Ioti Joe/Sherysyn Toko (Vanuatu) b Rachel Gunn/Antonia Harrison (New Zealand 1) 2-1 (21-13 21-18 15-9)

SEMI-FINALS

Brittany Kendall/Shelby Maher (Australia 1) lost to Reina Murakami/Hana Deguchi (Japan) 0-2 (16-21 18-21)

Pornsuda Kritsana/Saowaros Tangkaeo (Thailand 2) lost to Chen Jiali/Li Jiaomei (China) 1-2 (21-19 12-21 7-15)

MEN’S TEAM

FIRST ROUND

Mark Fan Yang Shen/Benjamin Guang Fa Yio (Singapore) lost to Narongdet Kangkon/Nirut Chamkham (Thailand 3) 0-2 (16-21 16-21)

Chi Shing Yip/Ka Ho Chuk (Hong Kong 2) lost to Maximilian Guehrer/Jonathan Hunt (Australia 1) 0-2 (2-21 3-21)

Imad Al Saadi/Ahid Al Sahi (Oman 1) b Ho Ming Lam/Ka Chun Kwok (Hong Kong 3) 2-0 (21-11 21-5)

Simon Gray/Mitchell Wakefield (Australia 2) lost to Yegor Dmitriyev/Pavel Aleinik (Kazakhstan 1) 0-2 (9-21 15-21)

Hol Fu Martin Lau/Chun Kan Luk (Hong Kong 1) lost to Mahmood Al Saadi/Samiei Al Hammadi ( Oman 2) 0-2 (12-21 18-21)

Thanachod Thanthawat/Surin Jongklang (Thailand 2) lost to Zhou Chaowei/Yan Tingyang (China 1) 0-2 (14-21 26-28)

Mao Harada/Ryoya Kitagawa (Japan) b Dai Lingfei/Chen Zuhang (China 2) 2-1 (26-24 20-22 15-10)

Vitaliy Shulyak/Maxim Samotoyev (Kazakhstan 2) lost to Banlue Nakprakhong/Marudet Buntem (Thailand 1) 0-2 (17-21 14-21)

SECOND ROUND

Maximilian Guehrer/Jonathan Hunt (Australia 1) b Mao Harada/Ryoya Kitagawa (Japan) 2-0 (21-13 21-17)

Banlue Nakprakhong/Marudet Buntem (Thailand 1) b Narongdet Kangkon/Nirut Chamkham (Thailand 3) 2-0 (21-16 21-17)

Zhou Chaowei/Yan Tingyang (China 1) b Simon Gray/Mitchell Wakefield (Australia 2) 2-1 (19-21 21-17 15-12)

Yegor Dmitriyev/Pavel Aleinik (Kazakhstan 1) lost to Thanachod Thanthawat/Surin Jongklang (Thailand 2) 0-2 (24-26 14-21)

RANKED 9-16

Mark Fan Yang Shen/Benjamin Guang Fa Yio (Singapore) b Hol Fu Martin Lau/Chun Kan Luk (Hong Kong 1) 2-0 (21-16 21-14)

Vitaliy Shulyak/Maxim Samotoyev (Kazakhstan 2) lost to Chi Shing Yip/Ka Ho Chuk (Hong Kong 2) 0-2 (14-21 8-21)

Mahmood Al Saadi/Samiei Al Hammadi (Oman 2) b Ho Ming Lam/Ka Chun Kwok (Hong Kong 3) 2-1 (21-13 21-23 15-8)

Imad Al Saadi/Ahid Al Sahi (Oman 1) b Lingfei/Chen Zuhang (China 2) 2-1 (21-13 17-21 15-8)

RANKED 5-8

Mao Harada/Ryoya Kitagawa (Japan) lost to Narongdet Kangkon/Nirut Chamkham (Thailand 3) 1-2 (13-21 21-17 15-17)

Simon Gray/Mitchell Wakefield (Australia 2) lost to Yegor Dmitriyev/Pavel Aleinik (Kazakhstan 1) 1-2 (15-21 21-16 10-15)

RANKED 9-12

Mark Fan Yang Shen/Benjamin Guang Fa Yio (Singapore) lost to Vitaliy Shulyak/Maxim Samotoyev (Kazakhstan 2) 1-2 (21-19 12-21 16-18)

Mahmood Al Saadi/Samiei Al Hammadi (Oman 2) lost to Imad Al Saadi/Ahid Al Sahi (Oman 1) 1-2 (21-18 19-21 12-15)

RANKED 13-16

Hol Fu Martin Lau/Chun Kan Luk (Hong Kong 1) b Chi Shing Yip/Ka Ho Chuk (Hong Kong 2) 2-1 (21-12 20-22 15-8)

Ho Ming Lam/Ka Chun Kwok (Hong Kong 3) lost to Lingfei/Chen Zuhang (China 2) 0-2 (15-21 11-21)

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