Songkhla, Thailand, April 16, 2007 -- Thailand's Kamolthip Kulna and Yupa Phukrongploy and Indonesians Andy Ardiansyah and Koko Prasetyo
Darkuncoro remain in the top echelon of Asia after powering past their respective rivals in the finals to be crowned the women's and men's champions in the Samila-Sangsom Asian Beach Volleyball Championships here on Monday.
With a large number of home spectators jampacking the makeshift grandstands at the Samila Beach to cheer on their players, Thailand 1's Kamolthip and Yupa added another agony to the same wound of Yue Yuan and Zhang Wenwen, thrashing the off-form Chinese pair 21-14, 21-10 in the showdown. At the last week's Phatthalung-Loma Asian Beach Volleyball Invitation at Lumpum Beach in Phatthalung province, the Thai girls were in superb form to beat Yue and Zhang twice.
In what could be a rematch of the last week's climax, Kamolthip and Yupa on Monday continued their splendid coordination with effective drops and spectacular spikes to win the comfortable final in just 33 minutes.
It was just in two weeks when the Thai duo captured three titles – the National Championships, the Asian Beach Volleyball Invitation in Phatthalung and the just-completed highly-successful seventh Asian Beach Volleyball Championships in Songkhla.
For their victory on Monday, Kamolthip and Yupa claimed US$3,000 cash prize, the championship trophy plus an additional Bt300,000 incentive money from the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) as they won the continental competition. Runners-up Yue and Zhang received the US$2,500 prize money and a trophy.
Another Thai pairing, Jarunee Sannok and Usa Tenpaksee, also put in the fine form to beat Japanese Yuki Yanagawa and Kazuko Sugawara 21-13, 21-13 in the third-place play-off to collect the US$2,000 cash prize and a trophy.
The joined fifth place went to New Zealanders Marnie Grant and Susan Blundell after beating Malaysians Luk Teck-hua and Beh Shun-thing 21-14, 21-15, and Kazakhstan's Marina Storozhenko and Yelena Alenkina, who crushed Vietnamese Nguyen Thi-tiep and Phan Thi Cam Hong 21-13, 21-12.
In the men's division, top seeds and title-holders Andy Ardiansyah and Koko Prasetyo Darkuncoro from Indonesia remained the indomitable giants to topple as they thrashed Chinese Gao Fangtian and Han Shengwei 21-14, 21-12 in the 36-minute final to successfully retain the men's title, the US$3,000 prize money and the championship trophy.
New Zealand's Greg Lindsay and Russell Watson beat Thailand's Sathaporn Sawangruang and injured Apichat Bua-luang 21-16, 21-19 in the third-place play-off.
Thais Baworn Yangthin and Montree-Cha-emnoy defeated Vietnamese Tran Ngoc Cao Son and Nguyen Van Thanh 18-21, 21-14, 15-13 to finish the joint fifth place with Rhovyl Verayo and Parley Tupaz of the Philippines, who stunned Indonesians Suratna and Agung Santoso 16-21, 21-18, 17-15.
Top four teams in both men's and women's categories received accumulated ranking points in their effort of making their good run in the upcoming meet in Bali.2007 Asian Beach Volleyball Championships.
The Asian Beach Volleyball Championships,Star spikers from 46 teams including 22 women's squads from 15 AVC members, which kick off Saturday morning at the beautiful Samila Beach in Songkhla.
The participating teams from Australia, China, Kazakhstan, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Chinese Taipei, India, Iran and hosts Thailand were divided into groups with each group having three teams to compete in the round-robin first round before a knock-out system was used in the following rounds.