Kasi and Kiran advance

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In the way: Nixson (jersey no. 2) attempts to block as Yoosaf spikes. Nixson and Ramamoorthy prevailed in three sets.
In the way: Nixson (jersey no. 2) attempts to block as Yoosaf spikes. Nixson and Ramamoorthy prevailed in three sets.

Karthik Krishnaswamy

India’s National champions bow out

India’s Kanaka-Latha duo ousted

Dipierro and Van Zweiten of USA in good form

Chennai: Two Indian men’s pairs won their first round matches of the BSNL-FIVB Chennai Challenger beach volleyball championships here on Thursday, progressing to round two in the double-elimination event.

In the first round, on Court 2, India’s Kasi-Kiran duo beat Israel’s Oren Alkoby and Alon Alkoby in two sets, 21-15, 21-17, setting up a second-round clash with the Finnish duo of Lauri Hakala and Pekka Seppanen.

In an all-Indian first round match on Centre Court, Ramamoorthy and Nixson prevailed in a hard-fought three-setter against Sunil and Yoosaf, winning 21-12, 15-21, 15-13, in 48 minutes.

After losing the first set, the Sunil-Yoosaf pair hit back in the second, the left-handed Sunil placing with his right palm the set-winner into the open off-court.

Ramamoorthy and Nixon, who won the see-saw third set 15-13, will face the Austrian pair of Mario Steinocker and Simon Nausch in the second round.

Earlier, India’s National champions Pradeep John and P. Mohan lost to the USA’s Mike Dipierro and Mark van Zweiten 21-17, 21-15.

Precise spiking

The Indian pair stayed neck-to-neck in both sets, but the Americans pulled away each time, Van Zweiten’s composed, precise spiking making a telling difference.

In the evening, Dipierro and Van Zweiten continued their superb form, winning comfortably against Israel’s Meir Chen and Redco Ohad 21-18, 21-17 in the second round.

The pairs that lost their first round matches will clash against the pairs who won their first but lost their second rounds, on Friday.

In the first round in the women’s section, India’s Kanaka and Latha were outclassed by the Austrian pair of Elisabeth Klopf and Gabriela Pemmer, who beat them 21-8, 21-3.

The Austrians had at least a six-inch height advantage each, allied to superior athleticism and anticipation.

Far too often did Kanaka or Latha hesitate in advancing to the net, leaving plenty of space in front of them for the Austrians to spike decisively into.

The results:

Men: Second round: Nishimura/Morikawa (Jpn) bt Peris/Rathnapala (SL) 21-16, 21-09; Dipierro/Van Zweiten (USA) bt Meir/Redco (Isr) 21-18, 21-17. First round: Peris/Rathnapala (SL) bt Yammahi/Zarkoh (UAE) 21-16, 21-14; Dipierro/Van Zweiten (USA) bt Pradeep/Mohan (Ind) 21-17, 21-15; Kasi/Kiran (Ind) bt O. Alkoby/A. Alkoby 21-15, 21-17; Klepper/Luiza (Bra) bt Shashi/Mohammed (Ind) 21-10, 21-12; Sawangreung/Yungtin (Tha) bt Babichev/Kuleshov (Kaz) 21-10, 16-21, 15-10; Abo Shelid/Fares (Leb) bt Perera/Fernando (SL) 21-14, 21-11; Ramamoorty/Nixson (Ind) bt Sunil/Yoosaf (Ind) 21-12, 15-21, 15-13; Rodriguez/Heranbaz (Esp) bt Saravanan/Dhami (Ind) 23-21, 21-10.

Women: First round: Radarong/Udomchavee (Tha) bt Pilipenko/Samalikova (Kaz) 21-11, 21-8; Sannok/Tenpaksee (Tha) bt Chater/Rossignol (Fra) 21-16, 21-9; Klopf/Pemmer (Aut) bt Kanaka/Latha (Ind) 21-8, 21-3.

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