[BEACHVOLLEYBALL] Thai teams all made it through the first day of the International Women’s Beach Volleyball Tournament yesterday at the makeshift arena in front of Robinson Department Store in Ratchadapisek Road.
In the curtain-raiser, Thai ace Jarunee Sannok, who partnered Kamolthip Kulna to land last year’s crown, and Yupa Phukrongploy had a relatively easy match against Vietnamese Hong Phan Thi Cam and Mai Thi Hao.
Although teaming up only a couple of months ago, the Thai pair overcame the Vietnamese, partners since 2001, 21-19 21-9.
Sixth seeds Kasinee Godtalang and Arawan Tongkamnak had to play three sets against little-known Tse Wing Hung and King Cheuk Yee from Hong Kong but ran out winners 21-9 17-21 15-9.
The match of the day was between Kamoltip and Usa Tenpaksee against Australians Megan Avery and Larraine Busch.
The Aussies used their physical advantage to snatch the first set 21-16, but looked tired in the second and made many unforced mistakes to lose 21-19.
In the third, they rebounded to lead 14-11, but the Thai pair fought back to deuce. They had five matchpoints, but Aussies saved them all.
But at 19-19, the Aussies gifted a match point when Busch spiked wide and the Thais grabbed the winning point 21-19.
In yesterday’s other main match, England’s Denise Johns and Monique Oliver tamed Americans Nicole Midwind and Patti Scofield 21 2 21-9.
The meet, which runs until Sunday, has drawn 12 teams from nine nations, including beach volleyball powerhouse China. International ranking points are at stake in the competition.
Published on February 25, 2005