Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 17 June 2012





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Colourful opening ceremony at Asian Beach Games

The little known Southern Chinese town, Haiyang earned global recognition when the Third Asian Beach Games began with the slogan of "Share the Joy". Asia’s biggest beach sports extravaganza started at the Haiyang beach last evening with over 1,600 performers adding colour to the opening ceremony.

Martial Artists, native Yangko Dances, smooth lighting and music and the latest technology made the opening ceremony a significantly different one from others. The 80 minute long ceremony showcased the local cultures and the spirit of national fitness to the world.

More than 1,600 athletes from 44 Asian countries and regions will compete in 49 events for thirteen sports, including beach soccer, cliff climbing, roller-skating, windsurfing, powered paragliding, beach volleyball and beach basketball.

Among them, cliff climbing and roller-skating are being included for the first time in the games.

Lankan beach volleyball players fail to impress.

Sri Lanka had high hopes in their beach volleyball teams before leaving to China, but all four teams failed to get through to the quarter finals.

Gnanasagari Gunasingha and Nirosha Lakmini teamed up together and did a good job to outrun Mongolia, and Vietnam while the other Sri Lankan womens team which comprised Thakshila Nilanjalee and Geethika Gunawardena, beat Turkmenistan and Japan.

Their performances lifted them to the group of 16, where the best 16 teams of the tournament met on the sand court at the beautiful Haiyang Beach. They beat Mongolia 21–18, 21-7, Turkmenistan 21–6, 21–6, and Asian Heavyweights Japan 21–12, 21–12, but lost to Vietnam 21–14, 21–17 and Chinese Taipei 21–9, 21–14. But Gunasinghe and Lakmini’s next meeting with Chinese Taipei beack volleyballers did not allow them to go further when they were defeated by 2-0 (21-17, 21-12). Thakshila and Geethika also failed to move on when they lost to Thi Tiep and Cam hong of Vietnam (20-22, 17-21).

Sri Lankan men also did well on the sand court, beating Turkmenistan, Japan and East Timor but lost to Indonesia during the preliminary round. Asanka Pradeep Kumara and Malintha Shashimal beat Akmvradov and Batyrov of Turkmenistan (21–9, 21–12), Pubudu Kumara and Nalin Peiris beat Japan’s Hatabe and Murakami (21–19, 21–9), Pubudu and Peiris beat Correia and Santos of East Timor (21–8, 21–12) while Asanka and Malintha lost to Indonesia’s Dian and Fahriansyah (21–18, 21–13). Pubudu and Peiris met Malaysia’s Kiew and Rafi in the first game of the Round of 16 but they lost 21-17, 21-16.

Chinese Taipei will meet China in the first semi-final today while Kazakhstan will play against Thailand in the second.

In the mens segment, two teams from Singapore will meet two teams from Khazakstan in the two semi finals today, leaving opportunity for an all-Singaporean or an all-Khazakstani mens beach volleyball final.



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