Navy teams go head to head at Beach Volleyball Pattaya Open

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Jomtien beach proved to be a magnet for sports lovers on Sunday, August 3 as the area’s multipurpose sports arena played host to the finals of the Beach Volleyball Pattaya Open 2014.

The tournament, which ran in total for 4 days from July 31 – August 3, was organized by the Pattaya Tourism Department in co-operation with the Thailand Volleyball Association and attracted 16 nationwide teams, which were split evenly between the male division and the female U-17 contenders.

Pattaya Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon (2nd left) presents the male winners’ trophy to the victorious Navy 1 team.Pattaya Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon (2nd left) presents the male winners’ trophy to the victorious Navy 1 team.

After some keenly fought qualifying rounds, the final two matches saw the Thai Navy 1 and 2 teams face off against each other in the men’s final and Kalasin 1 take on Bangkok Sport School in the ladies championship game.

In the men’s final, Navy 1 got off to a blistering start and secured the first set 21-13 in short order.  Any thoughts they may have had of an easy victory were soon blown out of the water however as Navy 2 tightened up their defence and came back strongly to take the second set 21-17 and tie the match up at 1 set all.

Pattaya council member Phaiwan Aromchuen (2nd left) presents the female champions’ trophy to Bangkok Sports School.Pattaya council member Phaiwan Aromchuen (2nd left) presents the female champions’ trophy to Bangkok Sports School.

Thus, the final had to be settled by a tie-break, which was a straight race to 15 and Thai Navy 1 got their game back just in time as their opponents began to tire and mistakes crept into their play.  Thai Navy 1 took the tiebreaker 15-12 and captured the winners’ trophy and 20,000 baht in prize money.  Thai Navy 2 had to be content with the 10,000 baht consolation prize and also playing their part in a thrilling final that kept the spectators entertained throughout.

The concluding match of the event was the ladies final that saw Kalasin 1 race out to an early one set lead against the Bangkok Sports School, the Isaan duo proving too slick for their opponents as they rattled off the set 21-11.  The final then took a similar pattern to the men’s event as Bangkok grew into the match and started to find some rhythm to their play.  As the Kalasin team started to misfire on serve, Bangkok took advantage to take the second set 21-16.

With momentum now clearly on their side, the Bangkok pairing then played their best volleyball of the match in the deciding tiebreaker and wrapped up the contest and the championship 15-8 to take the 10,000 baht first prize.

In the men’s third place playoff match preceding the finals, Lukpradu 2 were victorious in straight sets (21-11, 21-17) over Chantaburi and took home a prize of 6,000 baht while Samutsakorn College finished third overall in the ladies division.

Pattaya Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon along with other city administrators and national volleyball officials were on hand to present prize money and trophies to all the winning teams and finalists.

Thai sports officials are hopeful that this tournament can prove to be a springboard for success for the nation’s best beach volleyball players at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China later this month, the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea in September and also later this year at the Asian Beach Games in Phuket.

Rising high, a player stretches for the ball in the female third place playoff game.Rising high, a player stretches for the ball in the female third place playoff game.

A Chantaburi player reaches for the ball during a playoff match against Lukpradu 2.A Chantaburi player reaches for the ball during a playoff match against Lukpradu 2.

Thai Navy 1 (blue shirts) and Thai Navy 2 battle for net supremacy in the men’s final.Thai Navy 1 (blue shirts) and Thai Navy 2 battle for net supremacy in the men’s final.

A Kalasin player attempts a smash against Bangkok Sports School in the female U-17 final.A Kalasin player attempts a smash against Bangkok Sports School in the female U-17 final.