Qatar’s Julio do Nascimento and Ahmed Tijan put up a brave effort in the opening set before losing their bronze medal match to top seeds Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann in the Asian Beach Volleyball Championship in Songkhla, Thailand on Monday.
At the Samila Beach, do Nascimento and Tijan played well and forced extra points in the first set. But they were eventually beaten by the Australians at 21-23 14-21 in 32 minutes.
McHugh and Schumann had bagged the third place against the Qatari pair in the Pak Bara Master in Satun, Thailand last week as well. McHugh had teamed up with Isaac Kapa to hand Australia the 2016 Asian title on home soil in Sydney. He had claimed the gold medal at the inaugural Pak Bara Open last year as well.
The gold medal was bagged by Iranians Iranians Rahman Raoufi and Bahman Salemiinjehboroun who dashed Indonesia’s dreams to underline supremacy in the men’s event.
The Iranians, who captured gold medal at the 2014 Asian Tour Samila Songkhla Open but took a disappointing 9th place at the last week’s Pak Bara Master, survived a sturdy challenge from Ade Candra Rachmawan and Mohammad Asfiya before beating the determined Indonesians in three-set thriller 22-20 12-21 15-12 in exhausting 50 minutes to clinch the men’s title.
The loss of Candra and Asfiya was another upset tale for Indonesia as the duo also made it to the final of the last week’s Pak Bara Master, only suffering a bitter loss at the hands of Qataris Jefferson Santos Pereira and Cherif Younousse in the showdown.
Australians Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy, the second seeds, avenged last week’s loss to Chinese Wang Fan and Yue Yuan to capture the women’s crown with 21-19 21-17 victory. The Chinese pair, which had won the 2014 Asian Games bronze medal, were fresh from the gold medal at the Pak Bara Master.
Australians Phoebe Bell and Nicole Laird had to be content with bronze medal after powering past Indonesians Dhita Juliana and Putu Utami in dramatic three sets 21-8 17-21 15-8 in the third-place playoff.
In the awards presentation, men’s champions Raoufi and Salemiinjehboroun received the gold medal and $7,500 cash prize, while silver medallists Candra Rachmawan and Mohammad Asfiya and bronze medallists McHugh and Schumann took home $6,000 and $4,500, respectively.
In the women’s category, champions Bawden and Clancy claimed gold medal plus $7,500 cash, with silver medallists Chinese Wang Fan and Yue Yuan and bronze medallists Australians Bell and Laird pocketing $6,000 and $4,500, respectively.
Songkhla Governor Songpol Swastham and Somporn Chaibangyang, President of the Thailand Volleyball Association, jointly presided over the awards presentation and the closing ceremony. AVC Secretary-General Shanrit Wongprasert was also present on the occasion.
R.Raoufi/B.Salemiinjehboroun (IRI) beat Candra/Asfiya (INA) 22-20, 12-21, 15-12 (50 mts)
Julio/Ahmed Tijan (QAT) lost to McHugh/Schumann (AUS) 21-23, 14-21 (32 mts)