Jinjiang, China, June 3, 2018 – Japan’s Suzuka Hashimoto/Sayaka Mizoe delivered an inspiring performance to claim their second FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medal with a 2-1 (21-13, 19-21, 15-5) win over Chinese Taipei’s Kou Nai-Han/Liu Pi Hsin at the Jinjiang 2-star final on Sunday.
After winning their five matches at the Jinjiang 2-star in straight sets, Mizoe/Hashimoto had their toughest challenge of the week from Kou N.H/Liu P.H. in the gold medal match.
Mizoe/Hashimoto played tactically against Kou N.H/Liu P.H. to gain an edge in the opening set. The Japanese duo displayed quickness and put up a tremendous effort in defence to dominate their rivals 21-13.
Kou N.H/Liu P.H. regrouped in the second set, adjusting their strategy, with Liu stepping up on offence with some brilliants attacks, while Kou defended solidly to keep the long rallies going. Chinese Taipei forced the tie-breaker at 21-19 with Kou’s well-placed attack to the back.
The Japanese pair pounded the Chinese Taipei duo in the third set led by Hashimoto to mount a dominating lead. Hashimoto clinched the championship point with a put away attack to the corner 15-5.
Hashimoto now has two gold medals and a silver medal to her name, while teammate Mizoe has two golds and two silver medals.Quick links - Beach volleyball:
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour - Jinjiang
Japan’s Reika Murakami/Chiyo Suzuki defeated USA’s Aurora Davis/Bree Scarbrough 2-0 (21-12, 22-20) to salvage the bronze medal.
Scarbrough/Davis had trouble returning the short serves from Suzuki/Murakami, allowing the Japanese women to take an early lead in the first set. The Japanese established a great counter-attack scheme and kept a defensively sound game, even converting their digs into points to win the opening stanza at 21-12.
The Americans recovered from the set-back and led at the start of the second set, as Davis played excellent defence on the Japanese attack. Suzuki/Murakami worked their way up and snatched the lead at 18-16, but Scarbrough/Davis refused to give up and challenged them down the final stretch. The Japanese finally succeeded in the extended set 22-20.