Netherlands, Canada, Thailand and Chinese Taipei Men’s and three Japanese women’s’ teams dominate pool phase
Langkawi, Malaysia, 13 March 2020 – After an intense round of competitions in Thursday’s qualification rounds, the fourth edition of the FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball) Beach Volleyball World Tour 1-Star Langkawi Open 2020 moved into the main draw competition on Friday.
With a packed schedule of matches in the pool phase of the competition across the men’s and women’s categories, the results would determine the teams that will progress to the Round of 12 and quarterfinal stage scheduled for Saturday.
In the men’s category, the teams that triumphed in their individual pools were Chinese Taipei’s Ya-Jen Hsieh/Chin-Ju Wang (TPE) in Pool A; Thailand’s Dunwinit Kaewsai/Prathip Sukto (THA) topping Pool B; Dirk Boehle/Stefan Boermans (NED) of the Netherlands taking the top spot in Pool C; and Pool D’s leaders Liam Kopp/Alexander William Russell (CAN) from Canada.
The quartet of teams automatically earned a direct spot into the quarterfinals, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile, progressing into the Round of 12 competition for a spot into the quarterfinals were eight other men’s teams.
They were: Koichi Nishimura/Daisuke Shibata (JPN), Milosz Kruk/Dominik Poznanski (POL), Chen-Wei Hsu/Shin-Shian Wu (TPE), Alexander Annerstedt/Martin Johansson (SWE), Artur Hajos/Bence Streli (HUN), Jedrzej Brozyniak/Piotr Janiak (POL), Anton Ermishenkov/Alexey Gusev (RUS) and Mateusz Lesiecki/Jakub Szalankiewicz.
In the women’s competition, four teams earned an automatic spot into the quarterfinals courtesy of topping their respective pools. They were: Yurika Sakaguchi/Chiyo Suzuki (JPN), Reika Murakami/Kaho Sakaguchi (JPN), Satono Ishitsubo/Asami Shiba (JPN) and Tzu-Yi Pan/Ya-Hsuan Yu (TPE).
Eight other teams from the women’s pool competition also progressed to the Round of 12.
These were Dorina Klinger/Ronja Klinger (AUT), Kana Motomura/Harumi Sakai (JPN), Nai-Han Kou/Pi Hsien Liu (TPE), Leonie Klinke/Lena Ottens (GER), Anna Rantala/Ida Sinisalo (FIN), Wai Yan Au Yeung/Yung Yung Koo (HKG), Katja Metsakoivu/Tuuli Metsakoivu (FIN) and Lynne Beattie/Melissa Coutts (SCO).
With three men’s and two women’s teams representing host nations Malaysia, it was an encouraging day of competitions despite losing their respective matches.
Amongst the men’s, Al Basri Kungkoy/Al Rashid Kungkoy (MAS) first faced off against Ya-Jen Hsieh/Chin-Ju Wang (TPE) losing 10-21, 9-21 in the morning.
In the afternoon the pair went against Milosz Kruk/Dominik Poznanski (POL) losing the game 14-21, 12-21.
Fellow compatriots Herman Raj Muniandy/Elangovan Yogeswaran (MAS) faced the challenge of Chen-Wei Hsu/Shin-Shian Wu (TPE) ending the game 13-21, 12-21.
The afternoon saw them face a powerful Swedish team, Alexander Annerstedt/Martin Johansson (SWE) eventually relinquishing the game 14-21, 12-21.
The most experienced of the squad, Raja Nazmi Saifuddin Bin Raja Hussin/Muhammad Aizzat Muhammad Zokri (MAS) faced off against Liam Kopp/Alexander William Russell (CAN) in a tight match that favoured the Canadians, 21-19, 21-11.
The afternoon saw them go up against Mateusz Lesiecki/Jakub Szalankiewicz (POL) going down 15-21, 12-21.
The Malaysian womens pair of Sing Yee Sin/Jia Tian Yong (MAS) had to contend against a very strong Japanese duo Satono Ishitsubo/Asami Shiba (JPN) who defeated the Malaysian youngsters 21-12, 21-7.
The afternoon saw them go up against Hong Kong’s Wai Yan Au Yeung/Yung Yung Koo (HKG) losing 9-21, 11-21.
Malaysia’s sixth seeds Tasha Mae/Fu Sin Xi (MAS) meanwhile had an epic three-set thriller against Katja Metsakoivu/Tuuli Metsakoivu (FIN) which finished 21-18, 18-21, 9-15 in favour of the Finns.
The afternoon saw the pair go against Lynne Beattie/Melissa Coutts (SCO) in another closely contested affair which favoured the Scots, 21-18, 21-19.
Saturday’s matches will commence first with the round of 12 matches ahead of the quarterfinal games later that same afternoon. The semi-final and medals determining matches all taking place on Sunday (15 March).
Supported by the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), the double-gender tournament will include 20 women’s teams and 28 men’s teams from across the globe including, Austria, Japan, Poland, Sweden and Russia in addition to the inclusion of teams from host country, Malaysia.