Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand, March 1, 2016 – Strong teams enjoyed comfortable start to the inaugural “SMM” Asian U21 “Est Cola” Beach Volleyball Championships 2016 at Rim Ping Beach in Kamphaeng Phet on Tuesday.
The well-trained teams from Australia 1, Thailand 2, China and Japan kicked the three-day, double-gender tournament off to a flying start with two victories in succession on the opening day.
Australia 1’s top seeds Brittany Kendall/Shelby Maher sealed their first win over Singaporeans Chong Hui Hui Eliza/Lee Gladys in straight sets 21-15 21-12 before next outclassing New Zealand 2’s Alex Lawrence/Anilise Fitzi 21-17 21-14 to top Pool A.
Thailand 2’s Pornsuda Kritsana/Saowaros Tangkaeo, China’s Chen Jiali/Li Jiaomei and Japan’s Reina Murakami/Hana Deguchi also made their mark to top Pools B, C and D respectively.
Competing in the sapping heat, Thailand 2’s Pornsuda and Saowaros, seeded 10th, cleared the first hurdles successfully by brushing off seventh seeds Yue Oi Yan/Tsang Tsz Hung from Hong Kong in straight sets 21-18 21-13.
The host team went on their exceptional form to stun second seeds Joe Ioti/Toko Sheryayo of Vanuatu in convincing straight sets 21-17 21-13. With only three teams playing their pool round-robin preliminaries, the Thais swept both matches to finish top of Pool B.
“On our first day, we played well without any pressure. More importantly, we have obtained a lot of experience and learned how to play the tough opponents. I’m very happy that we won two matches in a row and got through to the next round with a clean sheet,” Pornsuda said.
“Actually, we had a short period of training in preparation for this tournament. Therefore, our preparation might not be good enough for us to set any target in this meet. We just want to focus on one match at a time. To be frank, we came here just to seek experience which can be a platform for our challenge in a higher level in the near future. I would like to thank all fans to come cheer us.” Pornsuda’s partner Saowaros added.
In the men’s competition, Australia 1’s Maximilian Guehrer/Jonathan Hunt, Kazakhstan 1’s Yegor Dmitriyev/Pavel Aleinik, Japan’s Mao Harada/Ryoya Kitagawa, China 1’s Zhou Chaowei/Yan Tingyang and Thailand 1’s Banlue Nakprakhong/Marudet Buntem had a field day with two wins in a row.
“It’s quite hot here and we found it tough going. We played well, but had to fight hard. We wasted a lot of sweat in both matches, but we are very happy to win. Since this is just the beginning of the competition, we, therefore, don’t want to expect too high. We just hope to finish among top five teams to make the cut for the World Championships,” said Maximilian Guehrer.
“Both of us played together four years ago and then switched partners. After that, we came back and played together again. However, we trained only four weeks before coming here. We will try to do our best,” he added.
Meanwhile, the draw of lots was held on Tuesday night in the women’s competition, which featured only 12 teams to take part in. With three teams contesting the pool round-robin first round, the undefeated Australia 1, Thailand 2, China and Japan top their pools, while teams finishing second in each pool were drawn to play in the quarter-final encounters.
According to the draw, Thailand 1 will go up against Australia 1 in the quarter-finals on Wednesday, with New Zealand 1 taking on Thailand 2, New Zealand 2 challenging Japan and Vanuatu facing China.
TUESDAY’S RESULTS (prefix denotes seedings)
1-Guehrer M/Hunt J (Australia 1) b 16-Narongdet K/Nirut C (Thailand 3) 2-0 (21-18 21-13)
8-Mark S/Benjamin Y (Singapore) b 9-Chi Shing Y/Ka Ho C (Hong Kong 2) 2-0 (21-16 21-13)
2-Dmitriyev Y/Aleinik P (Kazakhstan 1) b 15-Ho Ming L/Ka Chun K (Hong Kong 3) 2-0 (21-10 21-8)
7-Al Saedi I/Al Sahi A (Oman 1) lost to 10-Gray S/Wakefield M (Australia 2) 0-2 (17-21 16-21)
3-Zhou C/Yan T (China 1) b 14-Al Saadi M/Al Hammadi S (Oman 2) 2-0 (21-8 21-9)
6-Hoi Fu Martin L/Chun Kan L (Hong Kong 1) lost to 11-Surin J/Thanachod T (Thailand 2) 0-2 (7-21 7-21)
4-Banlue N/Marudet B (Thailand 1) b 13-Dai L/Chen Z (China 2) 2-0 (23-21 21-13)
5-Harada M/Kitgawa R (Japan) b 12-Shulyak V/Samotoyev M (Kazakhstan 2) 2-1 (21-17 13-21 15-13)
16-Narondget K/Nirut C (Thailand 3) b 9-Chi Shing Y/Ka Ho C (Hong Kong 2) 2-0 (21-4 21-14)
1-Guehrer M/Hunt J (Australia 1) b 8-Mark S/Benjamin Y (Singapore) 2-0 (21-19 24-22)
15-Ho Ming L/Ka Chun K (Hong Kong 3) lost to 10-Gray S/Wakefield M (Australia 2) 0-2 (14-21 15-21)
2-Dimitriyev Y/Aleinik P (Kazakhstan 1) b 7-Al Saadi I/Al Shi A (Oman 1) 2-0 (21-14 21-19)
14- Al Seeli M/Al Hammadi (Oman 2) lost to 11-Surin J/Thanachod T (Thailand 2) 0-2 (9-21 14-21)
3-Zhou C/Yan T (China 1) b 6-Hoi Fu Martin L/Chun Kan L (Hong Kong 1) 2-0 (21-11 21-14)
13-Dai L/Chen Z (China 2) lost to 12-Shulyak V/Samotoyev M (Kazakhstan 2) 0-2 (13-21 16-21)
4-Banlue N/Marudet B (Thailand 1) b 5-Harada M/Kitagawa R. (Japan) 2-0 (21-8 22-20)
8-Chong H H E/Lee G (Singapore) lost to 9-Lawrence A/Fitzi A (New Zealand 2) 0-2 (7-21 8-21)
7-Yue O Y/Tsang T H (Hong Kong) lost to 10-Pornsuda K/Saowaros T (Thailand 2) 0-2 (18-21 13-21)
6-Gunn R/Harrison A (New Zealand 1) b 11-Thatdaow Y/Preeyapa N (Thailand 3) 2-1 (18-21 21-18 17-15)
5-Murakami R/Deguchi H (Japan) b 12-Bettenay C/Johnson G (Australia 2) 2-0 (21-15 21-14)
1-Kendall B/Maher S (Australia 1) b 8-Chong H H E/Lee G (Singapore) 2-0 (21-15 21-12)
2-Joe L/Toko S (Vanuatu) b 7-Yue O Y/Tsang T H (Hong Kong) 2-1 (17-21 21-16 15-3)
3-Chen J/Li J (China) b 6-Gunn R/Harrison A (New Zealand 1) 2-0 (21-17 21-13)
4-Kaewta N/Phatsurinyo L (Thailand 1) lost to 5-Murakami R/Deguchi H (Japan) 1-2 (18-21 21-15 13-15)
9-Lawrence A/Fitzi A (New Zealand 2) lost to 1-Kendall B/Maher S (Australia 1) 0-2 (17-21 14-21)
10-Pronsuda K/Saowaros T (Thailand 2) b 2-Joe L/Toko S (Vanuatu) 2-0 21-17 21-13)
11-Thatdaow Y/Preeyapa N (Thailand 3) lost to 3-Chen J/Li J (China) 0-2 (19-21 16-21)
12-Bettenay C/Johnson G (Australia 2) lost to 4-Kaewta N/Phatsurinyo L (Thailand 1) 1-2 (7-21 21-17 10-15)