Qatar’s Olympic bronze medallists Cherif Younousse and Tijan Ahmed were stunned by Australia’s Christopher McHugh and Paul Burnett in the semi-finals of the Asian Beach Volleyball Championships in Phuket, Thailand, on Friday.
The second seeds lost 16-21, 19-21 as their quest for third Asian title came to an end. The third seeds McHugh and Burnett pairing took a commanding 5-1 lead in the opening set and continued their overwhelming dominance to win the set.
The Aussies gained a stranglehold in the second set, with Burnett a constant threat from spike range and McHugh’s powerful serving and blocking ability proving a thorn in the Qatari attacks. Younousse and Ahmed had earlier eliminated another Australian team, Izac Carracher and James Takken, 21-14, 21-12 in the quarter-finals, while McHugh and Burnett ousted Iranians Shekarsaraei Sina Shokati and Aro Mojtaba 23-21, 21-12 in their last eight match. Irania’s Bahman Salemi and Abolhassan Khakizadeh will wait the Aussies in the final after a 21-12, 21-14 win over Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Yakovlev and Sergey Bogatu in the semi-finals. Younousse and Ahmed will play the third-place playoff against Yakovlev and Bogatu on Saturday.
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