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4th Asian Beach Games crown Indonesia and Kazakhstan

Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova of Kazakhstan won the women's final against title-holders Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee
Phuket, Thailand, November 24, 2014 - Indonesia successfully retained their men's title after producing a magnificent come-from-behind victory over Iran, while Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee lost their crown on home soil to Kazakhstan in the 4th Asian Beach Games at Karon Beach on Sunday.

Title-holders Varapatsorn and Tanarattha, who took silver at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea and bronze at the recent Pattaya Challenge in Thailand, failed to make their mark in a crucial match which decided whether they could make it two in a row in the top-flight continental competition.

Varapatsorn and Tanaratta started nervously
in front of a large crowd of home spectators, with unforced attacking errors and poor services, while Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova of Kazakhstan played with confidence and courage. The Thai duo went down 13-21 in the first set.

Thailand played more consistently in the second set, but the Kazakhs were still in fine form. Mashkova attacked aggressively and Tsimbalova covered the court well to keep the ball in play. The Thai team came back into the game with attacks and deceptive drops to close the margin at 20-20. Kazakhstan fared better in the deciding moments of the set, however, allowing the host players only one more point before capturing the set 23-21.

"We did not play well. I feel exhausted and became very slow while attempting to dig spikes. I think my form did not live up to our expectations," said Varapatsorn after losing the final match.

"I would like to say sorry to all Thai fans that we could not keep the crown at home. We will try to come back in the next tournaments," she added.

Earlier in the day, the third-place playoff saw Indonesians Putu Dini Jasita Utama and Dhita Juliana stun Thailand's Yupa Phokongploy and Usa Tenpaksee 2-0 (21-17, 21-15) to take home the bronze medals.

In the men's competition final, reigning champions Ade Candra Rachmawan and Koko Prasetyo Darkuncoro, who have participated in the Asian Beach Games since the inaugural edition in Bali, Indonesia in 2008, came back from losing the first set 20-22 to Saber Hoshmand and Bahman Salemiinjehboroun to power past the formidable Iranians 21-14 15-10 and successfully defend their title.

The bronze medals went to Qataris Mahmoud Assam and Jefferson Santos Pereira, who pulled off a surprise 2-0 (22-20 21-18) win over Kazakhstan's Dmitriy Yakovlev and Alexey Kuleshov, silver medalists at the previous edition of the competition in Haiyang, China two years ago.

The awards presentation and the closing ceremony took place shortly after the end of the last match on Sunday, presided by AVC Executive Director Liu Jun and Thailand Volleyball Association President Somporn Chaibangyang.


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