Kazakhstan score double in beach volleyball final

In front of a big holiday crowd, the women from Kazakhstan showed they belonged to a different league. They hadn’t dropped a set on their way to the final of the AVC Cup Asian Central Zone beach volleyball championship.

With Tatyana Mashkova coming up with winners through her smashes and blocks and Bakhtygul Samalikova proving an ideal foil for her, Kazakhstan-1 took the first match, against Geethika Lalani and Bogahalanda Gnanasagari, in straight sets, 21-8, 21-9.   -  K. Ragesh

In front of a big holiday crowd, the women from Kazakhstan showed they belonged to a different league. They hadn’t dropped a set on their way to the final of the AVC Cup Asian Central Zone beach volleyball championship.

Sri Lanka never looked like spoiling that record on Sunday, as Kazakhstan romped home 2-0. With Tatyana Mashkova coming up with winners through her smashes and blocks and Bakhtygul Samalikova proving an ideal foil for her, Kazakhstan-1 took the first match, against Geethika Lalani and Bogahalanda Gnanasagari, in straight sets, 21-8, 21-9.

Sri Lanka-2, comprising Nirosha Lakmini and Asha Siriwardana, were able to put up a slightly better show in the second match, but they found Yekaterina Lassyuta and Irina Tsimbalova too strong, and went down 11-21, 12-21.

A few hours later, Kazakhstan made it a double as the men’s team defeated Iran 2-1. It was a thrilling final that went the full distance; the title was decided in the third set of the deciding match, known as the ‘golden match.’

Earlier, the Indian women — featuring the pairings of K.A. Shahana and A. Sruthi, and K.P. Athira and V.A. Aswathi — had given the home supporters plenty to cheer about as they defeated Nepal 2-0 in the place-off for the third place. The win also took them to third phase of the championship, to be held in Bangkok.

There was more joy for India, as the men’s team too booked their tickets for Bangkok, turning the table on Sri Lanka. It was the talented pair of Prahlad Dhawaskar and Krishna Chaithanya that won the play-off for the host. After India-1 (Mohan Poothathan and Balamani Sankar) lost the opening match to Asanka Kumara and Pubudu Ekanayake, they won both their matches.

The results:

Men (final): Kazakhstan bt Iran 2-1 (Alexey Kuloshov & Alexandr Dyachenko bt Rahman Roufi & Bahman Salemi 21-17, 18-21, 15-10;

Sergey Bogatu & Dmitry Yakovlev lost to Saber Hoshmand & Abbas Pourasgiri bt Prahlad Dhawaskar 21-17, 17-21, 6-15; Alexey Kuloshov & Alexandr Dyachenko bt Rahman Roufi & Bahman Salemi 21-12, 16-21, 15-10).

Play-off for third place: India bt Sri Lanka 2-1 (Mohan Poothathan & Balamani Sankar lost to Asanka Kumara & Pubudu Ekanayake 9-21, 15-21; Prahlad Dhawaskar & Krishna Chaithanya bt Sashimal Yapa & Sujeewa Chinthaka 21-14, 21-16; Prahlad Dhawaskar & Krishna Chaithanya bt Asanka Kumara & Pubudu Ekanayake 21-19, 21-19).

Women (final): Kazakhstan bt Sri Lanka 2-0 (Tatyana Mashkova & Bakhtygul Samalikova bt Geethika Lalani & Bogahalanda Gnanasagari 21-8, 21-9; Yekaterina Lassyuta & Irina Tsimbalova bt Nirosha Lakmini & Asha Siriwardana 21-11, 21-12).

Play-off for third place: India bt Sri Lanka 2-0 (K.A. Shahana & A. Sruthi bt Geethika Lalani & Bogahalanda Gnanasagari 16-21, 21-17, 15-10; K.P. Athira & V.A. Aswathi bt Nirosha Lakmini & Asha Siriwardana 21-15, 21-17).