Fuzhou, China, June 23,
2012 – Australia denied Indonesia in the golden set while Japan edged hosts China
in the semifinals of the AVC Men’s Beach Volleyball Continental Cup Final at
Min River Park in Fuzhou, China on Saturday.
Christopher McHugh and
Joshua Slack started off well for Australia by taking the first match against
Indonesians Dian Putra Santosa and Fahriansyah Fahriaynsyah 2-0 (21-11, 21-14).
The tables were suddenly turned when Koko Prasetyo Darkuncoro and Ade Rachmawan
rallied to beat Sam Boehm and Isaac Kapa in a tight match 2-1 (33-35, 21-19,
Koko/Chandra had an adrenaline rush and took the match against McHugh/Slack 2-0
(21-14, 21-18). But the Australians were not ready to give up as Boehm/Kapa
avenged the Australians’ previous match loss by thumping Dian/Fahri in straight
sets (21-16, 21-16).
The true test for both
teams came in the golden set. Indonesia led the Australians 12-9 – victory was
near and a finals ticket was at stake – but Australia refused to
give up and made a phenomenal comeback by serving four aces and scoring
on two attacks to win 15-9.
Japan were headstrong in
their win against the Chinese team to secure the remaining finals berth. Kentaro
Asahi and Katsuhiro Shiratori lifted Japan past Chen Cheng and Lin Wuqin in
their first match 2-0 (21-16, 21-15). The Chinese struggled on defence,
which Asahi/Shiratori exploited.
Shinpei Aoki and Yujiro
Hidaka matched the first team’s performance and powered their way to a
straight sets triumph (22-20, 21-18) against the stronger Chinese pair Zhou
Shun and Li Jian. Then Japan suddenly slipped and lost a 2-1 match (17-21,
21-19, 15-10) against Zhou/Li.
Aoki/Hidaka saved the
day for Japan by disabling Chen/LIN Wuqin from any comebacks at 2-0 (23-21,