Asian Champs Opening Day


The top-ranked men’s and women’s teams both made solid starts to their Asian Beach Volleyball Championship campaigns in front of a record crowd at Manly Beach on Friday.

Men’s top seeds and two-time Asian Champions, Chris McHugh and Isaac Kapa, and women’s top seeds and World U23 Champions, Australia’s Nikki Laird and Mariafe Artacho del Solar, were both untroubled in their opening pool matches.

Vanuatu second seeds, Pata Miller and Linline Matauatu, won their opening match, while third seeds Takemi Nishibori and Sayaka Mizoe of Japan comfortably won both their matches.

In the men, Qatar second seeds Santas Pereira Jefferson and Younousse Cherif were easy winners in their only match of the day, while third seeds Mike Watson and Sam O’Dea from New Zealand won their only match of the day.

There were mixed results for the home teams on the opening day of the Asian Championships.

Australia’s team-of-the-moment, Joshua Court and Damien Schumann, won both their matches, including a three-set thriller against Kazakhstan’s Dimitry Yakovlev and Alexey Kuleshov.

Bo Soderberg and Cole Durant were successful at their only outing, but the news was not so good for the Australian women’s teams, with Becchara Palmer and Sarah Battaglene, and Justine and Jordan Mowen, both losing their opening matches.

Palmer and Battaglene finished the day with one win and one loss, as did Australia’s fourth team of Christie Jenkins and Brittany Kendall.

More than 10,000 fans watched the opening day of the Asian Volleyball Championships, a record crowd for a single day at an Australian beach volleyball event.