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Qatar duo's golden bash by the beach.

Raajiv Tripathi DOHA Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan etched their names in history being the first Qatari to win the Asian Games beach volleyball gold medal, pulling off a superb 26-24, 21-17 victory against home pair of Ade Candra Rachmawan and Mohammad Ashfiya on Tuesday. The Qatari pair faced some anxious moments before hitting their top gear. They were 12-15 and 14-17 down. The Indonesians, who had lost the Palembang Open final to Younousse and Tijan last year, were just a point from getting the first set point too (19-17). At this juncture, Younousse and Tijan displayed their character and class. They not only cleared the deficit, they reeled off three points in a row to get the set point. They did so on four more occasions. But Rachmawan and Ashfiya continued to battle and negate the advantage of Younousse and Tijan. Eventually, at 24-all, the Qatari duo moved ahead and went on to clinch the set, dealing out a psychological blow to the opponents. In the second set, there were no such tense moments as Younousse and Tijan imposed themselves before sealing the straight set triumph and silencing the crowd. Younousse followed the triumph with a celebratory backward sommersault. In 2014 Incheon Asian Games, Qatar had the previous best finish with Abdelaziz Khallouf and Tamer Abdelrasoul getting the fifth place. A delighted Younousse commented after the final,"We're proud of the way we played and finished the Asian Games with the gold medal. The title means a lot to us and we hope it will help Qatar beach volleyball grow. "Qatar is now officially on the top of the Asian beach volleyball and it feels great to win the championship here," he added. Talking about the match, he said,"Last year, we played the same team here in the Palembang Open and there was a bigger crowd at that time. The crowd was still good in the final today and the Indonesian played well in the first set. "We were trailing but managed to come back through our experience. In the second set, we maintained a safe distance and emerged the champions. We're really very happy with the successful job here. "Earlier, I played with Jeff (Jefferson Santos Pereira) and we could not get the desired results. But with Tijan, we are the same age, have the same energy level and there are lots of good things to come in the future, I believe. "We just hope that this gold medal will go a long way in making beach volleyball a bigger sport than what it is in Qatar. There will be more recognition and respect for this. With more support from all quarters like the government and sponsors, this can grow into a major sport. "I hope some day kids will like to make us idols, come to the courts to play beach volleyball and try to serve the nation. But right now, we're really thrilled to win and establish ourselves as the No. 1 team in the continent," he added. Tijan said about the match and getting the coveted gold medal,"It was a tough game. It was raining in the match. We had to fight hard...The first set was very tight and little bit long due to high-speed wind. "In the second set, we were ahead and the rivals kept fighting... It was their home ground and they had a lot of energy and crowd support. "At the moment, we're playing at out highest level. We managed to stay out of trouble and won the gold medal. We're very excited with our victory and the gold medal. "It is history for us and Qatar. We want to thank God for our first gold medal at the Asian Games beach volleyball," he added. Beach volleyball Men's gold medal match: Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan (Qatar) beat Ade Candra Rachmawan and Mohammad Ashfiya (Indonesia) 26-24, 21-17 (46 mts). Medals Tally Rank Nation GSBT 1 China976445206 2Japan433861142 3Korea324046118 4Indonesia24192972 5Iran17161649 6Chinese Taipei13142047 7DPR Korea128727 8India9192250 9Uzbekistan9151438 10Thailand9113353 11Kazakhstan893047 12Bahrain83516 13Hong Kong4121632 14Malaysia48820 15Qatar43310 16UAE36312 17Singapore341017 18Mongolia32510 19Philippines301215 20Vietnam2111326 21Kyrgyzstan26917 22Jordan21811 23Kuwait2103 24Cambodia2013 25Saudi Arabia1214 25Macau1214 27Lebanon1124 28Iraq1102 29Korea UNITED1023 30Lao PDR0224 31Turkmenistan0123 32Tajikistan0101 33Pakistan0033 34Afghanistan0022 34Myanmar0022 36Syria0011

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:9INDO
Date:Aug 29, 2018
Words:713
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