By Sports Reporter
Qatar’s Cherif Younousse and Tijan Ahmed outclassed Japan’s Yoshiumi Hasegawa and Takashi Tsuchiya 21-9, 21-15 to enter the quarter-finals of the Asian Beach Volleyball Championships in Phuket, Thailand, on Thursday. The second seeds and World No 1 pair will take on Australians Izac Carracher and James Takken, who stunned seventh seed Iranians Abolhamed Mirzaali and Alireza Aghajanighasab 23-21, 21-15.
Younousse and Tijan Ahmed, the bronze medallists at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, remain on track to winning their third crown. The duo have won the Asian title two times on the trot in 2018 and 2019 as well as gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. Meanwhile, another Qatari pair Ahmed Mahmoud and Saifeddin Elmajid were knocked out of the tournament after the eighth seeds lost to Jude Garcia and Arbasto Anthony Lemuel Jr of Phillipines 22-20, 18-21, 15-12.
The 11th seeds Bahman Salemi and Abolhassan Khakizadeh caused a major upset when the Iranians pulled off a stunning 2-1 (21-18, 19-21, 15-11) win against Thai top seeds Banlue Nakprakhong/Surin Jongklang, who earlier did not drop a set en route to topping Pool A. Salemi is the 2017 Asian champions with his partner Rahman Raoufi, while young Khakizadeh proved his brilliance beyond his age. The 19-year-old Khakizadeh swept both Asian U-19 and U-21 titles early this year in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand and teamed up with veteran Salemi for the first time in the Asian Championships here in Phuket.
The quarter-finals will be held today morning, followed by the semi-finals in the afternoon. The third-place playoffs and two final matches will take place tomorrow.
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