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Indonesians enjoy a match in the sunshine

Rendy Licardo (left) and Mohammad Ashfiya (right) of Indonesia pose with FIVB Executive Vice-President and IOC member Ms. Rita Subowo (center) and FIVB delegate Marco "Tullio" Texixeira (second from the left) and coach Bambang Eko Suhartawan.

Nanjing, China, August 19, 2014 - After three days of mostly damp weather conditions at the Beach Volleyball venue in the Nanjing Sports Park Complex, Rendy Licardo and Mohammad Ashfiya of Indonesia continued their winning ways in a dry atmosphere here Tuesday by defeating a team from Rwanda.

“It was really a delightful weather today,” said the 17-year-old Licardo after his team’s victory over a tandem from Rwanda, “I enjoy playing the match with Mohammad and also enjoy the beautiful sunshine today.  The sunshine lights my spirit, and I put my heart and soul into the competition.”

With their 2-0 (21-14 and 21-13) victory in 26 minutes over Elias Ndagano and Sylvestre Ndayisabye of Rwanda, the Indonesians are tied atop Pool F with the highly-regarded Venezuelan tandems of Tigrito Gomez and Peter Hernandez with 3-0 group records.

Licardo and Ashfiya will meet Gomez and Hernandez, the bronze medal team for the FIVB under-19 world championships earlier this month in Porto, Portugal, in the final Pool F match Friday with the victorious team the likely winner of the group and the recipient of a “bye” for the start of single-elimination play Sunday.

Prior to Friday’s match, the two teams will be playing pairs from Poland and the United States Thursday.  Ashfiya and Licardo will be challenged by Dominik Kmiecik and Jakub Macura of Poland with Gomez and Hernandez meeting Torey DeFalco and Louis Richard of the United States.

Following the Indonesian’s third two-set victory in the completion with previous wins over the Americans and a team from Austrian, Ashfiya and Licardo were congratulated by Ms. Rita Subowo, a FIVB Executive Vic-President and an International Olympic Committee board member.

It has been several years since the Indonesians began playing at the Sidoarjo Beach Volleyball Club.  “They have a good understanding with each other,” said the coach Bambang Eko Suhartawan.

Ashfiya started to play Beach Volleyball at the age of five because his elder brother Pugou Santoso was a province volleyball player.  “Although my brother taught me a lot things about volleyball, Beach Volleyball is still my favorite sports,” said Ashfiya.  With an admiration expression on his face, Ashfiya said “Brazilian Alison Cerutti is the hero in my heart.”

By competing in the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, Ashfiya and Licardo cherish the experience to improve their skills in an effort to contend for a spot in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games.  When asked about the future, the two young players expressed their hopes to compete in Tokyo.  “Nanjing is a start for use internationally,” said Ashfiya, “We hope to compete in the Tokyo Olympics and look forward to gaining the experience the next six years to achieve our dreams.”

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