Fijian White Bow Out In Style
The Inia Koroiwale captained- Fijian White lost two straight sets to Australia in the men’s final of the Oceania Beach Volleyball Championship at the Smugglers Cove Resort in Nadi yesterday.
The Fijian pair of Korowale and Qilu Elliot were edged out in close margins by Australia’s Paul Burnet and Marcus Ferguson 21-19 and 22-20.
Fijian coach Waisake Raratabu was overwhelmed with his team reaching the eliminations.
“I am happy despite the results but to end up with three teams in the semi-finals show the strength of the team,” he said.
“It was a tough competition and to play Australia who the boys had upset in the Zonal playoff. The Oceania Championship is a difficult competition altogether.”
Earlier on in the semi-finals Fijian White came from behind to upset Cook Islands (Branden/ Daniel Heath) 2-1 in a close encounter. Interestingly Cook Islands won the opening set 21-16 before Fijian White claimed the second and final sets 21-18 and 15-13 respectively.
Australia beat PNG (Moha Mea/ Richard Kilarupa) 2-0 in the second semi-final in two straight sets 21-14 and 21-19.
In the women’s final defending champions Vanuatu (Loti Joe/ Unline Matauatu) retained their title beating Australia (Sarah Mattaglene/ Brittany Kendall) 2-0 (21-12, 21-16) in the women’s final.
The world ranked number 17 side had earlier on won the Fiji Open and Zonal Championship titles. They beat Fijian Blue (Laite Nima/Talei Qalilawa) by two straight sets.
“We thank the Lord for coming this far in the semi-final it was a bonus. We have gained a lot of exposure. We played well with my team mate and we thank the organisers and sponsors for bringing the event to Fiji,” said Nima.
In the other semi-finals Australia beat Fijian Black (Talica Rawaro/ Pauline Aitcheson) 2-0 (21-11, 21-9).