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AVC Beach Volleyball Tour Samila Open begins in Thailand

Thailand 1’s Prathip Sukto points at his teammate Kittipat Yungtin in celebration of a crucial point
Songkhla, Thailand, April 14, 2015 - The favourites prevailed on the opening day of the 16th “Samila-Chang” AVC Beach Volleyball Tour Thailand Samila Open at the Samila Beach in Songkhla on Tuesday, with second seeds and defending champs Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee of Thailand 1 clinching two victories to top Pool B.
World No.61 Varapatsorn/Tanarattha - silver medallists at last year’s Asian Games in Incheon, Korea and at the Asian Beach Games on home soil in Phuket - got off to a great start in the three-day, double-gender tournament in Songkhl,a as they pulled off a comfortable 2-0 (21-12 21-11) victory over Hong Kong 2 To Wing Tung/Koo Yung Yung and defeated Singapore’s Gabrielle Gomes Chloe/Tan Shiang Theng in a one-sided 2-0 (21-8 21-5) encounter in 28 minutes in their second match. With a clean sweep in Pool B, the Thai duo, who have already qualified for the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in The Netherlands from June 26 to July 5, booked their berth in Wednesday’s elimination round, where they are due to take on Japan 2’s Shinako Tanaka/Ayumi Kusano.

Top seeds Takemi Nishibori/Sayaka Mizoe of Japan 1 - winners at last week’s Asian Beach Volleyball Tour Nakhon Si Open in Thungsong - enjoyed a first-round bye in Pool A on Tuesday. In their second match on the same day, the Japanese sailed past Vietnam 1’s Nguyen Vu Ngoc Lan/Ngo Vo Thanh Loan 2-0 (21-7, 21-7) in just 20 minutes to top Pool A. The in-form Japanese are due to take on New Zealand 1’s Julia Tilley/Shaunna Polley.

Third seeds Tatyana Mashkova/Irina Tsimbalova - winners at last year’s Asian Beach Games in Phuket, Thailand - also swept both victories in Pool C to top the Pool after completion of the pool play. The Kazakhs first beat Indonesia 2’s Purari Eka Yokebed/Maria Dwiningtyas 2-0 (21-14 21-13) to next outclass Vietnam 2’s Nguyen Thi Thanh Tram/Pham Le Tuyet Ngan 2-0 (21-9 21–6). The knockout round sees the Kazakhs take on Hong Kong 2’s To Wing Tung/Koo Yung Yung on Wednesday morning

In the men’s competition, the top three seeds captured easy wins on the opening day. Kazakhstan 1’s Alexandr Dyachenko/Alexey Sidorenko - top seeds and winners at last week’s Thungsong meet and gold medallists at last year’s Asian Games in Incheon, Korea - had few problems getting past Papua New Guinea 2’s Richard Batari/Ake Walo 2-0 (21-8 21-15) in Pool A. The Kazakhs received a bye in their second meet and, as there are only two teams in Pool A, top the Pool. Dyachenko/Sidorenko advanced to play in the knockout round on Wednesday morning.

Second seeds Wu Jiaxin/Li Jian of China 2 - runners-up at last week’s Nakhon Si Open in Thungsong - struggled to beat Thailand 2’s Panupong Toyam/Nuttanon Inkiew in thrilling three sets 2-1 (21-17 22-24 15-8). The Chinese went on an unbeaten run to down India 1’s Naresh Tumpera/Raju Mudunuri Chalapathi Krishnam 2-0 (21-18 21-13) to top Pool B.

Third seeds Dmitriy Yakovlev/Alexey Kuleshov followed suit by defeating Vietnam 2’s Nguyen Ba Truong Dang/Nguyen Ngoc Quy 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) in their first encounter. The Kazakhs next brushed off Sri Lanka’s Asanka Madagedara Lekamalage/Pubudu Ekanayakaage 2-0 (21-8 21-13).

The elimination round will be held on Wednesday morning, with the quarterfinals taking place in the afternoon.


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