Satun, Thailand, April 10, 2018 – Top-seeded Nuttanon Inkiew and Sedtawat Padsawud lived up to their status and qualified for the men’s semifinals of the SMM Pak Bara Beach Satun one-star stop on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The Thai pair pleased the home crowd with two tie-breaker wins on Tuesday to stay in contention for the medals.
Second-seeded Ade Rachmawan and Mohammad Ashfiya of Indonesia, fourth-seeded Rahman Raoufi and Abolhamed Mirzaali of Iran and eighth-seeded Zachery Schubert and Tim Dickson of Australia complete the all-Asian line-up for Wednesday’s final four battles.
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Nuttanon and Sedtawat were the only team to score two victories on the second competition day in the men’s main draw in Satun, on both occasions after tough three-set duels. First, the Thai pair overcame the resistance of fifth-seeded Indonesians Gilang Ramadhan and Danangsyah Pribadi for a 2-1 (21-15, 15-21, 15-10) win at the start of single elimination phase of the tournament. In the quarterfinals, Nuttanon and Sedtawat persevered to come back from a set down against third-seeded Iranians Arash Vakili and Bahman Salemiinjehboroun to fix a 2-1 (15-21, 21-14, 16-14) victory and book a spot in the semis.
Surin Jongklang and Adisorn Khaolumtarn were the other home pair that progressed to the quarterfinals. In their first match of the day, they claimed a 2-0 (21-19, 21-13) victory over Japan’s Takumi Takahashi and Yusuke Ishijima. After losing the first set against Raoufi and Mirzaali, Surin and Adisorn fought on to reach the tie-breaker, but it was the Iranian team that celebrated with a 2-1 (21-15, 25-27, 15-11) win.
Mirzaali spikes over Adisorn’s block
Schubert and Dickson were the first to progress to the semifinals. They did so with a speedy 22-minute 2-0 (21-13, 21-18) quarterfinal win against Austria’s Peter Eglseer and Alexander Huber in the day’s shortest running match. The last remaining European team had reached this round after a 2-0 (21-13, 21-16) shutout of Thailand’s Patiphan Chambuntha and Dunwinit Kaewsai earlier in the morning.
A stunningly dramatic tie-break between Japan’s Katsuhiro Shiratori and Yuya Ageba and Slovenia’s Danijel Pokersnik and Tadej Bozenk provided for the day’s longest running match. After 56 minutes of play time, the Asian duo emerged victorious with a 2-1 (21-13, 19-21, 26-24) final score to advance to the quarterfinals, where they put on quite a fight against Candra and Ashfiya before the Indonesian pair celebrated with a 2-0 (27-25, 21-16) win and a spot in the semis.
The first of two men’s semifinals will start as early as 08:00 local time on Wednesday, featuring Schubert and Dickson against Nuttanon and Sedtawat. At 09:00, Raoufi and Mirzaali will lock horns with Candra and Ashfiya. The bronze medal match is scheduled at 13:00 and the big final for the title – at 15:00.