Tuan Chau Island, May 12, 2019 – In an all-Russian final, it was 24-year-old Ksenia Dabizha and 22-year-old Daria Rudykh who claimed gold at the women-only one-star FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Tuan Chau Island stop in Vietnam after defeating Ekaterina Syrtseva and Alexandra Moiseeva in straight sets.
It was the first World Tour podium finish for Dabizha and Rudykh as a team. While Dabizha earned a complete set of medals alongside Daria Mastikova in 2018, for Rudykh it was the first gold on the Tour. She also had one bronze medal previously – won at Alanya in 2018, in partnership with Elizaveta Zayonchkovskaya.
For Syrtseva and Moiseeva, the Tuan Chau silver was the second World Tour podium. The first one, also a silver medal, dates back to 2014, when the Russian pair reached the final of the Anapa Open.
Tense action in the Tuan Chau final
Top-seeded Yukako Suzuki and Yui Nagata of Japan settled for the bronze, which was a repeat of last year’s Tuan Chau Island result of Suzuki and her partner at the time Kaho Sakaguchi. At the same competition, Nagata took the silver alongside Minori Kumada, her only previous medal on the Tour. Suzuki also has one World Tour silver to her name.
Suzuki against Vaida in an above-the-net duel during the bronze medal match
In a very competitive first set of the final match, the lead never exceeded two points before it was 17-16 in favour of second-seeded Dabizha and Rudykh. After that they scored four in a row to win the set. Dabizha and Rudykh set the pace in the second part of the match. They took a five-point lead at 11-6 and that despite the continuing efforts of third-seeded Syrtseva and Moiseeva to reduce the gap, their opponents battled on to a 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) victory, shaped up by Rudykh’s hit for the last point.
Suzuki and Nagata recovered from a three-point deficit in the middle of the first set to reach a triple set point in the bronze medal match against 12th-seeded Romanians Beata Vaida and Ioana-Alexandra Ordean. Vaida scored two in row to keep her team alive, but finally Suzuki attacked successfully to finish the set off. The Japanese were in control of the scoreboard through most of the second set. Romania took the lead momentarily at 11-10, but that was it. Once again, Vaida’s dig and ace saved a couple of match points before Suzuki’s spike stopped the clocks at 2-0 (21-19, 21-17). Vaida and Ordean’s fourth place was the second best result for Romania in the history of the World Tour for either gender, after last year’s Miguel Pereira gold for Vaida and Adriana-Maria Matei.
Earlier on Sunday, Ksenia Dabizha and Daria Rudykh completely dominated their semifinal match against Vaida and Ordean and cruised to an emphatic 2-0 (21-13, 21-14) victory.
It was not much different in the first semifinal, where Ekaterina Syrtseva and Alexandra Moiseeva were well in control of the scoreboard on the way to a 2-0 (21-15, 21-16) straight-set win over Suzuki and Nagata.
Syrtseva blocks Suzuki in their semifinal encounter