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Beach Volleyball: Ma, Xia claim China’s 100th Asian Games gold

Silver medallists Tanarattha Udomchavee and Varapatsorn Radarong, champions Xia Xinyi and Ma Yuanyuan, and bronze medallists Yue Yuan and Wang Fan. Photo: AVC.

Silver medallists Tanarattha Udomchavee and Varapatsorn Radarong, champions Xia Xinyi and Ma Yuanyuan, and bronze medallists Yue Yuan and Wang Fan. Photo: AVC.

September 29, 2014: China’s Ma Yuanyuan and teenager Xia Xinyi secured China’s 100th gold medal at this year’s Asian Games in Incheon with a straight-sets win (21-12, 21-18) over Thailand’s Tanarattha Udomchavee and Varapatsorn Radarong in Sunday’s final of the women’s beach volleyball competition.

 

“I did not know it was the 100th gold medal,” said 24-year-old Ma after their victory at the Songdo Global University Beach Volleyball Center. “We just tried to focus on the match and play our best.”

 

Ma Yuanyuan (left) tries to block a spike. Photo: OCA.

Ma Yuanyuan (left) tries to block a spike. Photo: OCA.

Xia, who won two titles with the experienced Chen Xue on last year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, said: “It is our first journey to Asian Games. We tried to enjoy every match and we finally made it in the end. I am very excited.”

 

In the first game, China reached a 12-9 lead at the technical timeout. After China extended their advantage to 17-12 following an ace by Ma, Thailand called a timeout, but it failed to stop the momentum of their opponents who won the next four points to secure the opener.

 

China started the second set by racing to a 4-0 lead, but the Thai team battled back to 6-5 and kept within one or two points for much of the game. However, from 14-13 up, the China team stretched away to an 18-13 lead. The Thais kept fighting and won another five points before Ma won the match with a spike.

 

In the bronze-medal contest, Yue Yuan and tall youngster Wang Fan claimed another medal for China by beating the experienced Thai pairing of Yupa Phokongploy (32) and Usa Tenpaksee (30) 21-14, 21-11 in 33 minutes.

 

“I am very excited,” said 20-year-old Wang, who is six-feet two-inches tall. “It is my first Asian Games medal. We had prepared very carefully for this match and studied our opponents well. The match was as smooth as we expected.”

 

Asian Games women’s beach volleyball placings

1 Ma/Xia CHN Gold

2 Udomchavee/Radarong THA Silver

3 Wang/Yue CHN Bronze

4 Phokongploy/Tenpaksee THA

5 Kusano/Fujii JPN

5 Murakami/Habaguchi JPN

5 Mashkova/Tsimbalova KAZ

5 Lee/Yoon KOR

9 Ng/Wong HKG

9 Kim/Jeon KOR

9 Nazirova/Dilovarshoeva TJK

 

Source: Asian Volleyball Confederation (www.asianvolleyball.org); Editing by SportAsia

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