Fuzhou, China, June 24,
2012 – Japan ousted top seeds Australia in the golden set to claim qualification for the London 2012 Olympic Games at the AVC Men’s Beach Volleyball
Continental Cup Final at Min River Park in Fuzhou, China on Sunday.
Cristopher McHugh and
Joshua Slack placed Australia on the winning column during their first match
against Shinpei Aoki and Yujiro Hidaka 2-0 (21-12, 21-17). The
formidable Australian duo bested the tandem of Aoki/Hidaka with their excellent
attack tactic and good defence.
Japan then recovered
from their first match setback courtesy of Kentaro Asahi and Katsuhiro
Shiratori. Asahi/Shiratori played more dynamically than Aoki/Hidaka by
defeating Sam Boehm and Isaac Kapa 2-1 (21-17, 20-22, 15-13), and trouncing the
stronger tandem of McHugh/Slack in straight sets (21-13, 21-19).
Japan clearly had the
momentum in their fourth match against Boehm/Kapa and took the first set 21-19.
Australia denied the Japanese surge and seized the second set 21-16. The
thrilling third set was a defining moment for both teams – Japan insistent to
end the competition while Australia hanging on to extend for another set.
Japan played with power
that gave them the upper hand in the third set but it backfired
towards the end as Kapa placed a strong wall at the net that forced Japan to
play a golden set.
an excellent serving game in the golden set allowing them to take the advantage
against McHugh/Slack. The Australians were not able to recover from this hurdle
and eventually yielded at 15-10.
China settled for a
third place finish with a 3-0 win over Indonesia. Indonesia
suddenly lost steam on the final day, perhaps from the gruelling encounter with
Australia in the semifinals.
Chen Cheng and Lin Wuqin
had a little difficulty in their first match against Andy Ardiyansyah and Ade
Rachmawan but still managed to win 21-15, 23-25, 15-11. The other Chinese
pair Zhou Shun and Li Jian were more consistent and avoided any aggression on
offense from Indonesia.
Zhou/Li showed composure
in overcoming the Andy/Chandra tandem in straight sets (21-13, 21-19), and Dian
Putra Santosa and Fahriansyah Fahriansyah (21-17, 21-19).