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Top seeds Radarong/Udomchavee, McHugh/Schumann post opening day wins at Songkhla

Thailand’s Varapatsorn Radarong blocks an attack from a Vietnamese player
Songkhla, Thailand, April 14, 2017 – Top seeds Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee of Thailand and Chris McHugh/Damien Schumann of Australia recorded victories on the opening day of the SMM 18th Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships at Samila Beach on Friday.

Local hopefuls Radarong/Udomchavee started the tournament with a win over Vietnamese pair Le/Tu 2-0 (21-7, 21-10), but will face tough Japanese pair Mizoe/Hashimoto on Saturday to decide the Pool A winners. Mizoe/Hashimoto defeated the same Vietnamese side 2-0 (21-10, 21-16).

“We don’t know how far we can go in this tournament, but we will try to focus and play our best one match at a time” Radarong said. “If we continue to show our best, then I believe we will end up with a good result.”

Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy led the Australian charge in Pool B with a win over Kijja Kahntarak/Ariya Laosaengsa of Thailand, while Wang Fan and Yue Yuan of China are on the right track to win consecutive titles in Thailand following their 2-0 (21-19, 21-16) win over Hasegawa/Futami of Japan in Pool C.

“We tried to make sure that we prepared well,” Clancy said. “We wanted to play well as a team and we gained the upper hand this time. Songkhla is one of the best tournaments in the Asian Tour and will do our best here to win the tournament.”

Bawden/Clancy’s compatriots Phoebe Bell and Nicole Laird dominated in Pool D with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-11) win over Sri Lanka’s Gnanasagari/Chaturika. The Sri Lankans also lost to Japanese pair Suzuki/Ishii 2-0 (21-10, 21-11).

Meanwhile, McHugh Schumann cleared their opening day matches with victories in Pool A. The strong Australian duo trounced Singapore’s G.J.P Tan/Zhuo 2-0 (21-10, 21-10) and Oman’s Badar Al Subhi/Ahmed Al Housni 2-0 (21-15, 21-15) to cruise to the Round of 16.

“We tried our best and it was great to get two wins,” McHugh said. “It is going to be a very tough game against Iran, so we will try to keep going to win the tournament.”

The Qataris successfully cleared their first hurdle with comfortable straight-set victories over their rivals. Julio Do Nascimento/Ahmed Tijan Janko routed Hong Kong’s Wong/Pong 2-0 (21-11, 21-9) and Japan’s Kurasaka/Hasegawa 2-0 (21-14, 21-17) in Pool B, while Jefferson Santos Pereira/Cherif Younousse showed dazzling form to beat Laos’ Saykhammoun Lid/Phounthongsy Sinthanou and Hong Kong’s Lam/Kelvin in identical scorelines 2-0 (21-12, 21-9) in Pool C.

The Kazakhs also had a superb first day performance, as Alexey Sidorenko/Alexandr Dyachenko posted two victories over Sri Lankans Anjana/Dileepa 2-0 (21-15, 21-16) and Maldivians Anil/Adnan 2-0 (21-15, 21-11) in Pool D, while Yakovlev/Kuleshov logged straight-set wins over Maldives and Saudi Arabia in Pool E.

Canda Rachmawan/Mohammad Asfiya of Indonesia and Durant/Schubert of Australia are unbeaten in Pool F, following their straight-set victories over Adisorn/Marudet of Thailand and S. Kapa/Seymour of New Zealand.

Ha Likejiang/Jian Bao of China also advanced to the next round, following their victories over Asanka/Yapa of Sri Lanka and Kitti/Surin of Thailand.

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