Jefferson, Cherif claim Satun Pak Bara Master

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Jefferson Santos Pereira and Cherif Younnouse dominated Indonesians Ade Candra Rachmawan and Mohammed Asfiya once again and wrested the second Satun Pak Bara Master 2017, the opening leg of the AVC Beach Tour.

Olympians Pereira and Younnouse, who had beaten the Indonesian rivals in the Palembang Open in their previous clash, supported each other admirably to maintain a strong grip on the gold medal match and emerged 21-9 21-15 winners in 33 minutes in Satun, Thailand on Tuesday.

The victory was a welcome gift from the Qatar’s top team to new coach Mariano Baracetti, the Argentine who recently replaced Brazilan Pedro Pablo Costa.

Though Qatar’s second pair, top seeds Julio do Nascimento and Ahmed Tijan suffered a 15-21 15-21 defeat against Australians Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann in 33 minutes, it was overall fine effort by them to reach the semi-finals.

The splendid display by the Qatari players augurs well for them ahead of the Asian Beach Volleyball Championship, which is slated to begin Songkhla, Thailand, on April 14.

Right from the start, Pereira took a good care of the back court and Younnouse used his height to control the net. The opening set was quite easy and the Qatari pair clinched it at nine to impose themselves on the Indonesians.

Pereira and Younnouse faced some resistance from Candra and Asfiya. However, once they shook them off, they went on to clinch the match in 33 minutes.

Coach Baracetti was delighted with the performance of his trainees. He said, “I’m very happy with the start of my players. They put up solid performance and won the gold medal and fourth spot.

“My players look ready for the Asian championship, which is going to start soon. Most of the players will be the same and I hope my players will continue their rich form,” added the Argentine.

Qatar Volleyball Association President Ali Ghanim al Kuwari congratulated the coach and players on the marvellous showing in Thailand. “I want to congratulate the entire team for such a fine effort. Jefferson and Cherif played brilliantly and won the title. I hope Julio and Ahmed would also try to keep up their improved performance.

“It is heartening to say that Qatar Olympic Committee is supporting Jefferson and Cherif for the 2020 Olympic Games. Both are playing very well and improving with each tournament. They are also our big Olympic medal hopes. We’re so happy to see them grow,” added Kuwari.

Results

Gold medal match
Jefferson Santos Pereira & Cherif Younnouse (Qatar) beat Ade Candra Rachmawan/ Mohammad Asfiya (Indonesia) 21-9 21-15 (33 mts)

Bronze medal match
Chris McHugh/ Damien Schumann (Australia) beat Julio do Nascimento/Ahmed Tijan (Qatar) 21-15 21-16 (33 mts)