Australians, Thais take Asian U21 Championship titles
However, in the women’s tournament, Thailand 3 (Pawarun Chanthawichai/ Thatsarida Singchuea) took the title with a win over Japanese second seeds Reika Murakami and Hana Deguchi.
The three-day, double-gender competition also served as the Asian qualification round for this year’s FIVB U21 Beach Volleyball World Championships in China in July.
In the men’s event, Burnett/ Ferguson proved a cut above the rest but they had to fight to beat Thailand 3’s Konsiphong Vaikuntha-anuchit/ Keattisak Naksompol in the semifinals, winning 2-1 (21-13, 19-21, 16-14). They had an easier job against Marudet/ Jatoopon, who had earlier eliminated Iran 1’s Alireza Aghajani-Ghasab/ Javad Firouzpourbabdpei 2-0 (22-20, 21-13).
The final clash saw the Aussies cover the court marvellously with superb combinations and tactics to pull off a convincing 2-0 (21-17, 21-13) victory over the Thailand 1’s.
For Marudet, the loss in the Saturday’s final was another letdown after also losing in the final last year when he partnered Banlue Nakprakhong against China’s Zhao Chaowei/ Tan Tingyuan.
In the third-place playoff, Thailand 3’s Konsiphong/ Keattisak overpowered Iran 1’s Aghajani-Ghasab/ Firouzoourbabdpei 2-0 (21-19, 24-22) to take the bronze medal.
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Pawarun Chanthawichai and Thatsarida Singchuea upheld the honour of the host nation as they reigned supreme in the women’s competition beating Murakami and Deguchi 2-1 (21-16, 17-21, 15-10) in a hotly contested final.
Pawarun/ Thatsarida delighted the Thai fans as they performed brilliantly to brush off the Japanese second seeds, who also lost in last year’s final.
Third place went to Indonesians Maria Dwiningtyas/ Rahayu Vitria Dwi after a sensational 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) win over Vanuatu’s Joe Ioti/ Toko Sherysyn.
The top five teams from each category secured their places at the 2017 FIVB U21 Beach Volleyball World Championships in Nanjing, China.
1. Paul Burnett/Marcus Ferguson (Australia 1)
2. Marudet Buntem/Jatoopon Saenyoot (Thailand 1)
3. Konsiphong Vaikuntha-anuchit/Keattisak Naksompol (Thailand 3)
4.Alireza Aghajani-Ghasab/Javad Firouzpourbabdpei (Iran 1)
5. Justin Schumann/Mitchessl Wakefield (Australia 2)
6.Ilham Akbar/Dimas Agung Wirachmat (Indonesia)
7. Liu Chuanyong/Tao ChengAn (China 1)
8.Yekor Dmitriyev/Yerlan Yelubayev (Kazakhstan 1)
9. Phanupong Thanan/Pichakon Narathon (Thailand 4)
10. Wu Jinsong/Lu TianYu (China 2)
11. Oman 1
12. Hong Kong 1
13. Oman 2 and Sri Lanka 1
15. Thailand 2 and Kazakhstan 2
17. Hong Kong 2; Iran 2; Sri Lanka 2; Qatar; Singapore; Maldives and Vietnam
1. Pawarun Chanthawichai/Thatsarida Singchuea (Thailand 3)
2. Reika Murakami/Hana Deguchi (Japan 1)
3. Maria Dwiningtyas/Vitria Dwi Rahayu (Indonesia)
4. Joe Ioti/Toko Sherysyn (Vanuatua)
5. Sirinuch Kawfong/Saranya Laesood (Thailand 1)
6. Kanyanee Kaewkepkham/Phatsurinyo Inchaiya (Thailand 4)
7. Cao Shuting/Wang Jiaxi (China 1)
8. Caitlin Bettenay/Rebecca Ingram (Australiai 1)
9. Kaewta Noramart/Nasuda Janmong (Thailand 2)
10. Antonia Harrison/Emma Marumaru-Flynn (New Zealand)
11. Reina Tokoku/Miyu Kikuchi (Japan 2)
12. Tsang Tsz Hung/Ng Wing Laam (Hong Kong 2)
13. Australia 2 and Vietnam
15. China 2 and Sri Lanka 2
17. Singapore; Sri Lanka 1 and Hong Kong 1.