Australian and Thai duos earn top seeds at Songkhla
Songkhla, Thailand, April 12, 2017– Chris McHugh/Damien Schumann of Australia and Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee of Thailand gained top seeds at the SMM Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships, which will be held from April 14 to 17 at Samila Beach.
McHugh/Schumann is fresh from gold medal victories at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Shepparton 1-Star event and the inaugural Four Nations Cup at Sydney’s Manly Beach, as well as a bronze medal win at the Pak Bara Master in Satun.
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The Australian duo and Qatar pairs Julio Do Nascimento/Ahmed Tijan and Jefferson Santos Pereira/Cherif Younousse head the cast in the men’s tournament, which comprise of 32 teams from Australia, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Oman, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Iran, China, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Singapore, Laos andThailand.
Meanwhile, the women’s event features 28 teams from Australia, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Macau, Japan, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, Vanuatu, Singapore, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Thailand.
Pak Bara Master podium finishers top bill in the women’s event, with bronze medallists Radarong/Udomchavee leading the troupe together with silver medallists Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy of Australia and gold medallists Wang Fan/Yue Yuan of China.
The teams have been divided into eight pools for both genders and will be played in a round-robin format. The top two teams from each pool will advance to the next round.
AVC secretary general Mr Shanrit Wongprasert presided over the general technical meeting and the drawing of lots for the event, with referee delegate Thomas Chang and technical supervisor Kritsada Panseri.
“AVC president Dr Saleh Bin Nasser would like to extend his best wishes to the Thailand Volleyball Association and the Songkhla province for organising this event for 18 consecutive years,” Mr Shanrit said. “He sincerely expects that this championship will continue as one of the traditional events in the Asian Tour.
“This championship is important for all of us because we need the best teams to qualify for the World Championships this year. After this event, we still have another AVC Beach Tour Master for men in Qatar and two women’s tournaments in at Halong Bay and Can Tho in Vietnam.”
The tradition continues at Songkhla as the event is held in the occasion of the Songkran Festival, the celebration of the Thai New Year.
“Tomorrow will be the Thai New Year’s day, which is a water-splashing festival,” Mr. Shanrit said. “All of you are invited to join the ceremony and celebrate with the people of Songkhla.”