Australians Chris McHugh/ Damien Schumann, who last month won the inaugural men’s Four Nations Cup at Sydney’s Manly Beach and bronze medallists at the Pak Bara Master in Satun two days ago, have been awarded the men’s top seeds at the SMM Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships at Samila Beach, Songkhla between April 14-17.
A total of 32 men’s teams from 17 countries comprising Australia, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Oman, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Iran, China, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Singapore, Laos and hosts Thailand have been divided into eight pools from Pool A to Pool H to contest the pool round-robin preliminaries. Only top two teams from each pool will advance to the next round.
The women’s event features 28 teams from 14 nations including Australia, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Macao, Japan, Vietnam, China, Hong kong, Vanuatu, Singapore, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and hosts Thailand. All participating teams have been split into eight pools from PoolA to Pool H. However, three teams have been drawn in Pool A to Pool D, with Pool E, Pool F, Pool G and Pool D having four teams apiece.
Top seeds McHugh/Schumann, who also claimed gold medal at the FIVB World Tour event at home Shepparton last month, have been drawn in Pool A with Iran 1, Oman 1 and Singapore1.
“We have Iran and Oman and Singapore in our pool. It is going to be interesting and we will try our best to be on top of the pool to advance to the next round. However, it must be the matches which are full of excitement and fun for us,” said Chirs McHugh.
Qatar1’s Julio Do Nascimento/Ahmed Tijan Janice, who lost to McHugh/Schumann in the third place playoff at the last week’s Pak Bara Master in Satun, are in Pool B with New Zealand 2, Japan2 and Hong Kong 2.
Qatar 2’s Jefferson Santos Pereira/Cherif Younousse, fresh from winning gold medal at the Pak Bara Master in Satun, are third seeds to face China 2, Hong Kong 1 and Laos in Pool C, while the last year’s Samila champions Alexandr Dyachenko/Alexey Sidorenko of Kazakhstan, Japan1, Maldives 1 and Sri Lanka 2 are in Pool D.
Kazakhstan 2, Indonesia 2, Maldives 2 and Saudi Arabia are in Pool E, with Pool F featuring the Satun Pakbara Master runners-up Ade Rachmawan, Mohammad Ashfiya of Indonesia 1, Australia 2, Thailand 2’s Adisorn Khaolumtarn, Marudet Buntem and New Zealand 3.
Australia 3, China 1, Sri Lanka 1 and Thailand 3 have been drawn in Pool G and Thailand 1’s Nattanon Inkiew/Sedtawat Padsawaud, New Zealand 1, Iran 2 and Oman 2 are in Pool H.
In the women’s competition, Thailand 1’s Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee, silver medalists at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and bronze medalists at the last week’s Pak Bara Master in Satun , have been drawn in Pool A with Japan 3 and Vietnam 1.
Australia 2’s Louise Bawden/Taliqua, silver medalists at the Pak Bara Master in Satun on Tuesday, are in Pool B with Hong Kong 1, Thailand 3.
China 1’s Wang Fan/Yue Yuan, fresh from winning the Pak Bara Master in Satun on Tuesday, are in Pool C with Indonesia 2 and Japan 2 with Pool D featuring Australia 1’s Phoebe Bell/Nicole Laird, Japan 1, and Sri Lanka 1.
Pool E comprises Vanuatu, Kazakhstan 2, Vietnam 2, Hong Kong 2, with China 2, Thailand 2, Sri Lanka 2 and New Zealand 2 in Pool F.
New Zealand 1, Australia 3, Singapore and Macao are in Pool G, with Pool H consisting of Indonesia 1, Kazakhstan 1, New Zealand 3, and Pawarun Chanthawichai/Thatsarida Singchuea of Thailand 4.
The Technical General meeting and the drawing of lots ceremony took place on Wednesday. AVC Secretary General Mr Shanrit Wongprasert presided over the meeting, with Referee Delegate Tomas Chang and Technical Supervisor Kritsada Panaseri jointly conducting the draws. All the participating teams as well as a large number of journalists joined the meeting.
“As a representative from AVC and TVA and firstly on behalf of AVC President Dr Saleh A. Bin Nasser, the president would like to extend his best wishes to TVA and Songkhla province to have organized this event continuously for 18 years. He sincerely expects that the championships will continue as one of the traditional Asian Tours. This championship is important for all of us because we need our best teams to qualify for the World Championships this year. After this championships, we still have another AVC Beach Tour Master for men in Qatar. For women, we have another two tournaments in Vietnam in Halong Bay and Can Tho city in Vietnam. AVC sincerely wish all of you the best success in this tournament and for the coming World Championships,” Shanrit said in his speech to all participating teams
“Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any problem.TVA is ready to serve all of you during your stay here. And also I would like to thank all of you for your participation every year. Tomorrow will be the Thai New Year’s Day, the water-splashing festival, so all of you will be invited to join the ceremony with Songkhla people. And tomorrow’s evening the organizers of Songkla province would like to invite all of you to have dinner before we start our championships,”Shanrit added.
The men’s and women’s match schedule of the four-day tournament will be held on April 14.