Singapore Two Star
- June 20-24, 2018
Two new FIVB World Tour champions were crowned Sunday at the Singapore Two Star. Japan’s Chiyo Suzuki/Reika Murakami and China’s Peng Gao/Yang Li won their first titles.
The Singapore gold gives the Suzuki/Murakami their second FIVB medal, following a bronze at the Jinjiang Two Star (June 3).
Suzuki/Murakami bested countrywomen Takemi Nishibori/Ayumi Kusano in straight sets for the title (23-21, 21-15), marking their fourth-straight win of the tournament.
“This is a very big surprise,” Suzuki said. “I couldn’t believe it when they said we were the champions… this is a dream. I’m so happy because this is the first time we’re getting an FIVB gold medal. In the second set, we tried to play a little differently from the first set, including using different types of service to move our opponents around and tire them out.”
In Saturday’s semifinal, the duo moved on with a straight set win over Sweden’s Tadva Yoken/Sigrid Simonsson (21-18, 21-16).
Nishibori/Kusano rallied past Germany’s Anna Behlen/Sarah Schneider 20-22, 21-19, 16-14.
The silver is the third medal in 2018 for Nishibori/Kusano, following gold at the Manila One Star (May 6) and bronze at the Bangkok One Star (May 13).
Behlen/Schneider went on to take the bronze with a tiebreak win over Yoken/Simonsson (27-25, 13-21, 15-11). The Germans take their second FIVB medal of the year after winning the title at the Phnom Penh Two Star (May 6).
On the men’s side, Gao/Li earned their second FIVB medal after taking bronze at the Jinjiang Two Star (June 3).
Gao/Li topped Estonia’s Kusti Nolvak/Mart Tiisaar 21-14, 21-18 in the title match.
The Chinese pair made the final after besting Indonesia’s Ade “Candra” Rachmawan/Mohammad Ashfiya in tiebreak (20-22, 21-14, 15-10).
Nolvak/Tiisaar moved past Slovenia’s Nejc Zemljak/Jan Pokersnik in the other semifinal (21-14, 22-20). The silver medal marked the first podium finish for Nolvak/Tiisaar since a bronze at the Langkawi One Star (April 16).
Candra/Ashfiya took home the bronze with a 28-26, 22-20 win over Zemljak/Pokersnik. The medal is the pair’s second of 2018 after a runner-up effort at the Satun One Star (April 11).