Kamolthip and Yupa take laurels
[BEACH VOLLEYBALL] Kamolthip Kulna and Yupa Phukrongploy clinched the Samila-Sangsom Asian Beach Volleyball Championships title with a third consecutive victory over Chinese Yue Yuan and Zhang Wenwen at Samila Beach, Songkhla, yesterday.
Best bets Kamolthip and Yupa did not let their local supporters down, beating Yue and Zhang 21-14 21-10 in the women's final.
Earlier, Kamolthip and Yupa had beaten the Chinese duo in the quarter-finals and again in the final of the recent Phatthalung-Loma Asian Beach Volleyball Invitation last week.
The winners took home prize money of US$3,000 and an incentive of Bt300,000 from the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT).
The Chinese pair Yue and Zhang received US$2,500 for their efforts.
In third-place play-off, Thais Jarunee Sannok and Usa Tenpaksee put in a fine show to beat Yuki Yanagawa and Kazuko Sugawara of Japan 21-13 21-13 to pocket US$2,000.
Joint fifth place went to the duo of Marnie Grant and Susan Blundell of New Zealand who beat Malaysians Luk Teck-hua and Beh Shun-thing 21-14 21-15, and Kazakhs Marina Storozhenko and Yelena Alenkina, who crushed Nguyen Thi-tiep and Phan
Thi Cam Hong of Vietnam 21-13 21-12.
In the men's division, Indonesians Andy Ardiansyah and Koko Prasetyo Darkuncoro proved they are a cut above the rest. The top team thrashed Gao Fangtian and Han Shengwei of China 21-14 21-12 to capture the men's crown and the US$3,000 prize money.
Sathaporn Sawangruang and struggling Apichat Bua-luang, who picked up a knee injury in the last minute of a warm-up session, went down to New Zealand's Greg Lindsay and Russell Watson 21-16 21-19 in the third-place play-off.
Fellow Thais Baworn Yangthin and Montree Cha-emnoy defeated Vietnamese Tran Ngoc Cao Son and Nguyen Van Thanh 18-21 21-14 15-13 to take the fifth place with Rhovyl Verayo and Parley Tupaz of the Philippines, who edged out Suratna and Agung Santoso 16-21 21-18 17-15.
The top four teams in both divisions will participate in the next leg in Bali.