Beach volleyball: Indonesians rule in SEA beach volleyball championships

Indonesia's Dhita Juliana (left) getting ready to block Thai player Khanittha Hongpak's spike. Juliana and Putu Utami beat Khanittha and Rumpaipruet in three sets, while their male counterparts had an easier time, against Thai opponents as well.
Indonesia's Dhita Juliana (left) getting ready to block Thai player Khanittha Hongpak's spike. Juliana and Putu Utami beat Khanittha and Rumpaipruet in three sets, while their male counterparts had an easier time, against Thai opponents as well.PHOTO COURTESY OF HUANG XIAOLONG

Indonesia proved too good for their regional rivals Thailand at the South-east Asian Beach Volleyball Championships yesterday, sweeping the women's and men's titles.

Dhita Juliana and Putu Utami needed nearly an hour to dispatch opponents Rumpaipruet Numwong and Khanittha Hongpak in three gruelling sets 21-17, 18-21, 15-10.

Their male compatriots Candra Rachmawan and Mohammad Ashfiya had a easier time on Sentosa's Palawan Beach, overcoming Sedtawat Padsawud and Nuttanon Inkiew 21-19, 21-14 in 37 minutes.

Indonesia and Thailand dominated the three-day event held in Singapore for the first time, accounting for all semi-final slots save for a Vietnamese women's pair.

Singapore had three pairs - two women's and one men's - who advanced from the group stage but all lost in the quarter-finals on Friday.

Volleyball Association of Singapore president Ang Wei Neng said: "We are extremely grateful for all the support from volunteers who helped out on the courts, as well as all our partners who have made this championships an incredible experience for everyone.

"Having wrapped up a successful SEA Beach Volleyball Championships, we are looking forward to next year's AVC (Asian Volleyball Confederation) Beach Volleyball Tour and have started raising funds and preparing for it."

The AVC Beach Volleyball Tour tournament took place in five venues in three countries last year: Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

AVC's beach volleyball director Kritsada Panaseri has been in Singapore since Sept 25 and praised the organisation. He said: "Singapore's set-up has exceeded expectations. The stage was huge and with live entertainment, it brought the entire experience of beach volleyball to the next level."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 01, 2017, with the headline 'Indonesians rule in beach volleyball'. Print Edition | Subscribe