Aussies win gold and two bronze at AVC Samila Open
The Aussies have put on a dominant display at the AVC Beach Tour 21st Samila Open in Songkhla, Thailand, coming home with Men’s gold and bronze, and Women’s bronze and fourth.
Thomas Hodges and Zachery Schubert won Men’s gold with a 2-1 victory over China’s Ha Likejiang/Wu Jiaxin (8-21, 21-18, 15-12).
In the electrifying final showdown against Hodges/Schubert, Chinese Wu and Ha got off to a great start to take the one-sided first set 21-8, but Hodges and Schubert bounced back to gain control of the second set, 21-18.
The Aussies stormed home to win the third set 15-12.
Two Australian teams made it to the Men’s top-four, with Izac Carracher and Mark Nicolaidis facing the eventual Chinese silver medallists in the semifinals.
The Chinese veterans pulled off a 2-1 (21-17, 15-21, 15-11) win against the Carracher/Nicolaidis to dash the hopes of an all-Aussie final.
The third-place playoff clash saw Australian Beach Volleyball Tour Champions Carracher and Nicolaidis survive a daunting challenge from local hopefuls and top seeds Surin Jongklang/Banlue Nakprakhong to win the bronze in three sets (16-21, 21-14, 15-13).
In the Women’s event, Thailand’s Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee/Tarawadee Naraphornrapat won gold in a straight set victory over Japan’s Akiko Hasegawa/Yurika Sakaguchi (21-18, 21-14).
The Women’s bronze medal match was an all Aussie clash with Nicole Laird and Phoebe Bell playing Alisha Stevens and Georgia Johnson.
A close match where all players were very familiar with each other’s style and game play, it was Laird and Bell who nudged in front to win the bronze 2:1 (20-22, 21-10, 15-13).