The Iranian team who won gold at the 2014 Asian Tour Samila Open, survived the tough challenge of Indonesians Candra Rachmawan/Mohammad Asfiya in a three-set thriller (22-20, 12-21, 15-12) to clinch the men’s title, FIVB reported.
“We tried to keep our mind fresh and focused in every point because our opponents were very strong. We just wanted to fight until the last point and we are very happy to win the Asian title here. We look forward to coming back next year.”
Candra/Asfiya had another upset tale, as the duo landed again on the silver medal podium, after a bitter loss to Qataris Jefferson Santos Pereira/Cherif Younousse in the final at last week’s Pak Bara Master.
Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann of Australia claimed bronze, following a sensational 2-0 (23-21, 21-14) win over Julio Nascimento/Ahmed Tijan of Qatar. The Australian pair won back-to-back bronze on Thai soil, as they also bagged bronze at the Pak Bara Master.
Meanwhile, Australians Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy captured the women’s crown after stunning Chinese Wang Fan/Yue Yuan in straight sets (21-19, 21-18). Bawden/Clancy were able to redeem themselves at Songkhla in great fashion, after losing to the Wang/Yue at the Pak Bara Master final.
“Last week’s loss has given us huge motivation to keep winning,” Bawden said. “I think we did a very good job today. We wanted to fight although we learned well that the Chinese are very strong. We lost to them last week, so we had to bring our best to take the title back. It was great that we finished on top of the podium this time.”
Earlier, their compatriots Phoebe Bell/Nicole Laird defeated Indonesians Dhita Juliana/Putu Utami 2-1 (21-8, 17-21, 15-8) to win the women’s bronze.
The men’s and women’s podium finishers received medals and cash prizes. The gold medallists will each receive US$7,500, then the silver and bronze medallists will each get US$6,000 and US$4,500, respectively.
Songkhla governor Songpol Swastham and Thailand Volleyball Association president Somporn Chaibangyang led the awarding and closing ceremonies, where AVC secretary-general Shanrit Wongprasert attended as guest of honour.