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
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.