China make clean sweep at Asian U21 Beach Volleyball Championships in Thailand
In the men’s event, China 1's formidable duo of Zhao Chaowei/Yan Tingyang dashed Thai hopes of landing the men's title on home soil, defeating Thailand 1's Banlue Nakprakhong/Marudet Buntem in comfortable straight sets 2-0 (21-16, 21-14) in the final clash, witnessed by a large number of local spectators who braved the scorching heat to boost their players' morale.
"We would like to thank Thailand for hosting this tournament and making it a memorable success. It is an amazing tournament for us. Against the Thais in the final, we defended well and reduced unforced errors," said a happy Zhao Chaowei after the victory.
"The Thai team seemed to lose their energy after playing in gruelling three sets against the Australia team in the morning semifinals and we just seized the chance. However, I would like to give them the thumbs up for their spirit and great form. My partner Yan and I have played together for two years. After this, we will return home and train much harder in preparation for the FIVB U21 Beach Volleyball World Championships in Switzerland. Thanks again to the lovely Thai fans who cheered for us. We love playing here," he added.
In the morning semifinals, Thailand 1's Banlue/Marudet defied all odds to stun Australian top seeds Maximilian Guehrer/Jonathan Hunt 2-1 (21-18, 13-21, 15-12) in a hotly-contested encounter, while China 1's Zhou/Yan defeated Thailand 2's Surin Jongklang/Thanachod Thanthawat in straight sets 2-0 (21-16, 21-15).
The third-place playoff saw Thailand 2's Surin/Thanachod come from behind to beat the strongly-built Australia 1's Guehrer/Hunt in hard-fought three-set thriller 2-1 (12-21, 25-23, 15-12).
Meanwhile, in the women's showdown, Chinese Chen Jiali/Li Jiaomei played well under pressure. Going down in the closely-contested opener 20-22, the Chinese duo regained their composure to foil the determined attacking attempts of Japanese pair Reina Murakami/Hana Deguchi to snatch the remaining two sets 21-11 and 15-11 for the crown.
"It's great to win the title here. Japan are very tough and they played well in the first set. Their services worked out pretty well. However, we regrouped and played more aggressively in the next two sets which saw our opponents make many unforced errors. We are very happy to win this tournament in Thailand. The Thai fans are amazing," said Chen Jiali through a Chinese interpreter.
In the third-place playoff earlier, Thailand 2's Pornsuda Kritsana/Saowaros Tangkaeo performed beyond all expectations to overpower Australia 1's Brittany Kendall/Shelby Maher 2-0 (24-22, 21-15).
"We played according to the game plan, trying to reduce our mistakes and instead concentrating on every point. I'm very happy to learn that we've come far beyond our expectations in this tournament. To finish in third place is a big bonus and a great pride. We want to thank all the Thai fans who cheered for us here and in front of TV. Without their support, we could not have succeeded in this beautiful match," said Pornsuda.
Kamphaeng Phet Governor Thani Thanyapoch and Somporn Chaibangyang, president of the Thailand Volleyball Association, jointly presided over the awards presentation and the closing ceremony.
Rank 15-16: Yip Chi Shing/Chuk Ka Ho (Hong Kong 2) b Lam Ho Ming/Kwok Ka Chun (Hong Kong 3) 2-0 (21-16 22-20)
Rank 13-14: Dai Lingfei/Chen Zuhang (China 2) b Lau Hoi Fu Martin/Luk Chun Kan (Hong Kong 1) 2-0 (21-10 21-11)
Rank 11-12: Shen Fan Yang Mark/Yio Guang Fa Benjamin (Singapore) b Mahmood Al Saadi/Samiei Al Hammadi (Oman 2) 2-0 (21-15 21-16)
Rank 9-10: Imad Al Saadi/Ahid Al Sahi (Oman 1) b Vitaliy Shulyak/Maxim Samotoyev (Kazakhstan 2) 2-0 (21-15 21-14)
Rank 7-8: Mao Haruda/Ryoya Kitagawa (Japan) b Simon Gray/Mitchell Wakefield (Australia 2) 2-0 (25-23 21-19)
Rank 5-6: Narongdet Kangkon/Nirut Chamkham (Thailand 3) b Yegor Dmitriyev/Pavel Aleinik (Kazakhstan 1) 2-1 (21-15 17-21 23-21)
Semi-finals: Banlue Nakprakhong/Marudet Buntem (Thailand 1) b Maximilian Guehrer/Jonathan Hunt (Australia 1) 2-1 (21-18 13-21 15-12); Zhou C/Yan Tingyang (China 1) b Surin Jongklang/Thanachod Thanthawat (Thailand 2) 2-0 (21-16 21-15)
Third-place playoff: Surin Jongklang/Thanachod Thanthawat (Thailand 2) b Maximilian Guehrer/Jonathan Hunt (Australia 1) 2-1 (12-21 25-23 15-12)
Final: Zhou Chaowei/Yan Tingyang (China 1) b Banlue Nakprakhong/Marudet Buntem (Thailand 1) 2-0 (21-16 21-14)
Rank 11-12: Yue Oi Yan/Tsang Tsz Hung (Hong Kong) b Eliza Chong Hui Hui/Lee Gladys (Singapore) 2-0 (22-20 21-10)
Rank 9-10: Thatdaow Yanram/Preeyapa Nantawee (Thailand 3) b Caitlin Bettenay/Georgia Johnson (Australia 2) 2-0 (21-19 23-21)
Rank 7-8: Alex Lawrence/Anilise Fitzi (New Zealand 2) b Rachael Gunn/Antonia Harrison (New Zealand 1) 2-1 (22-24 21-17 15-12)
Rank 5-6: Kaewta Noramart/Phatsurinyo Inchaiya (Thailand) 1 b Ioti Joe/Sherysyn Toko (Vanuatu) 2-1 (21-9 18-21 15-13)
Third-place playoff: Pornsuda Kritsana/Saowaros Tangkaeo (Thailand 2) b Brittany Kendall/Shelby Maher (Australia 1) 2-0 (24-22 21-15)
Final: Chen Jiali/Li Jiaomei (China) b Reina Murakami/Hana Deguchi (Japan) 2-1 (20-22 21-11 15-11)
1. Zhou Chaowei/Yan Tingyang (China 1)
2. Banlue Nakprakhong/Marudet Buntem (Thailand 1)
3. Surin Jongklang/Thanachod Thanthawat (Thailand 2)
4. Maximilian Guehrer/Jonathan Hunt (Australia 1)
5. Narongdet Kangkon/Nirut Chamkham (Thailand 3)
6. Yegor Dmitriyev/Pavel Aleinik (Kazakhstan 1)
7. Mao Harada/Ryoya Kitagawa (Japan)
8. Simon Gray/Michell Wakefield (Australia 2)
9. Imad Al Saadi/Ahid Al Sahi (Oman 1)
10. Vitaliy Shulyak/Maxim Samotoyev (Kazakhstan 2)
11. Mark Fan Yang Shen/Benjamin Guang Fa Yio (Singapore)
12. Mahmood Al Saadi/Samiei Al Hammadi (Oman 2)
13. Dai Lingfei/Chen Zuhang (China 2)
14. Hoi Fu Martin Lau/Chun Kan Luk (Hong Kong 1)
15. Chi Shign Yip/Ka Ho Chuk (Hong Kong 2)
16. Ho Ming Lam/Ka Chun Kwok (Hong Kong 3)
1. Chen Jiali/Li Jiaomei (China)
2. Reina Murakami/Hana Deguchi (Japan)
3. Pornsuda Kritsana/Saowaros (Thailand 2)
4. Brittany Kendall/Shelby Maher (Australia 1)
5. Kaewta Noramart/Phatsurinyo Inchaiya (Thailand 1)
6. Ioti Joe/Sherysyn Toko (Vanuatu)
7. Alex Lawrence/Anilise Fitzi (New Zealand 2)
8. Rachael Gunn/Antonia Harrison (New Zealand 1)
9. Thatdaow Yanram/Preeyapa Nantawee (Thailand 3)
10. Caitlin Bettenay/Georgia Johnson (Australia 2)
11. Yue Oi Yan/Tsang Tsz Hung (Hong Kong)
12. Eliza Chong Hui Hui/Lee Gladys (Singapore)