29th SEA Beach Volleyball: Thais lose title to Indons in exhilarating final

Putu Utami and Juliana Dhita of Indonesia | photo credits Huang Xiaolong

Putu Utami and Juliana Dhita of | photo credits Huang Xiaolong

The 29th SEA Championships concluded with Asia’s top-ranked teams from Indonesia and battling on the sands in a closely fought final.

23-year-old pair, Numwong/ Hongpak (Thailand) lost the first set by four points to Juliana/ Utami (Indonesia) but won the second set 21-18. However, Indonesia Juliana/ Utami sealed their championship title winning 10-15 in the match that lasted almost an hour.

Earlier during the women’s semi-finals, Indonesian teams Juliana/ Utami fought with Ratnasari/ Eka for their right to battle the . It was a very close match with points going alternately to both teams but ultimately, Ratnasari/ Eka won 23-25, 15-21 to advance to the finals.

Ranked no.1 in Asia, Rachmawan/ Ashfiya (Indonesia) defeated Thailand’s navy players Inkiew/ Padsawud to bring the gold home winning 2-0.

“It has been an , well organized in a beautiful location with a clearly competent promoter,” says Mr. Angelo Squeo, New Events Business Director, Federation Internationale de Volleyball (). He added, “I see the potential for beach volleyball to be very successful here and to be developed further especially since Asians have a better chance at winning in this sport. Singapore also has the potential to be a beach volleyball destination such as the beaches of Copacabana, Brazil with more international events and more public enjoying the sport.”

Rumpaipruet Numwong vs Cherry Rondina (photo credits: Huang Xiaolong)

Rumpaipruet Numwong vs Cherry Rondina (photo credits: Huang Xiaolong)

The governing body responsible for all forms of Volleyball on a global level, FIVB was present during the championships in Sentosa to explore future collaborations in the development of beach volleyball in Singapore.

“As an organization largely dependent on volunteers, we are extremely grateful for all the support from the volunteers who helped out on the courts as well as all our partners who have made this championship an incredible experience for everyone,” says Mr. Ang Wei Neng, President, (VAS). “Having wrapped up a successful SEA Beach Volleyball championships, we are looking forward to next year’s AVC Beach Volleyball Tour and have started raising funds and preparation for it.”

Sanctioned by (AVC), the championships was supported by FIVB, Sports Singapore, Unusual Limited, The Co-Organization, Tote Board, Mikasa Sports, , One Farrer Hotel & Spa, , Comfort Delgro Group, Eat What, Yeo’s H-Two-O, Banana Boat and Toshiba Asia Pacific.

AVC Beach Volleyball Director, Mr. Kritsada Panaseri was in Singapore since Sep 25 to oversee the entire setup. “Singapore’s setup has exceeded expectations. The stage was huge and with live entertainment, it brought the entire experience of beach volleyball to the next level.”

The championships concluded with an electrifying live after-party featuring local artists Jack & Rai and 53A.