Connect with us


China, USA to face off in Phuket FIVB beach volleyball final today

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: China’s top-seeded duo Chen Xue and Xi Zhang will take on the second-seeded team of Jennifer Kessy and April Ross from the United States in the gold medal final of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour at Karon Beach this afternoon.

Both teams ground out semifinal match victories yesterday to advance to the internationally-televised final, scheduled to start on center court at 4pm today. Their game will be preceded by bronze medal contenders Australia and Italy at 3pm.

Both teams going for the gold today are former Phuket champions. Although Kessy/Ross won their last meeting in two sets in June at the Beijing Grand Slam, Xue/Zhang hold a 6-2 series edge over the Americans.

The winning pair in the first-place final will share US$30,000, while the silver medal team will split $21,000, the bronze $15,000 and the fourth-placed team will divide $11,200.

Yesterday’s semifinals featured four teams from four countries and four continents.

Kessy/Ross held off a formidable challenge by Italy’s Marta Menegatti/Greta Cicolari, the fifth-seeded team, winning in two sets, 21-18, 21-19 in 44 minutes.

After finessing their way through a tight first set, Kessy/Ross fought back from a 12-16 deficit in the second set to defeat the tenacious Italians.

Seeded second in the ongoing Phuket FIVB tournament, Kessy/Ross yesterday played in their 30th FIVB Swatch World Tour final four playoffs and today will be their 19th appearance in a gold medal match.

The former Phuket champions have also won 26 medals in the five seasons they have played together.

“The Italians played well, we just came up with key plays at the right time to send us to the gold medal match again here in Phuket,” said Kessy.

“They played better in the second set and after we got done by four points late in the set, we didn’t panic and both of us were able to make the kind of plays we are capable of, especially with our transition setting.

“We knew it would be a battle and it was, and they are a team getting better and better, but we used our strengths to defeat them,” she added.

In the other semifinal yesterday, Xue/Zhang overcame a knee injury to Zhang early in the second set to win their fifth straight match in two sets in Phuket, defeating Australia’s 19th-seeded Louise Bawden/Becchara Palmer, 21-18 and 2-13 in 43 minutes.

After controlling the first set, the score was tied 1-1 in the second set when Zhang went down hard on the Karon Beach sand, injuring her left knee. After on-site medical personnel treated her, Zhang, playing in obvious pain with a taped left knee, and Xue pulled away to earn their 20th FIVB Swatch World Tour gold medal match appearance.

While the seriousness of Zhang’s knee injury remains uncertain, the Chinese team is in their 35th final appearance and have 29 medals, including eight gold medals in the 67 tournaments they have played together since 2006. This season, the Chinese duo won the gold medal at the tour stop in Finland for their sole win of the season.

“Zhang is a strong person and I know she was playing in a lot of pain in her knee in the second set but we were able to stay focused, make plays and pull away for the victory,” Xue said.

“It was a close first set and we won and then in the second [set] I didn’t know what would happen after Zhang went down on the sand. She came back and made some great plays and I served very well; that helped us win the match.

“She has had problems with her knee before and hopefully she will be fine [for the final] because we would really like another gold medal,” Xue added.

The Phuket Thailand Open is being produced by Pentangle Promotions Co Ltd of Bangkok, in association with the FIVB and the Thailand Volleyball Association.

The Phuket Gazette and PGTV are charter sponsors of the FIVB Volleyball events in Phuket.

Entry for spectators is free.


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Pollution29 mins ago

Beached sperm whale covered in oil rescued in Phuket

Thailand1 hour ago

Unsatisifed with haircut, grandfather goes to police station for help

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Thai DDC probe into Covid-19 vaccine recipient deaths to finish next week

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Thailand2 hours ago

Good Morning Thailand | Situation in Hua Hin, bars petition for overturn of alcohol ban, Sandbox

Politics2 hours ago

Thammanat Prompaew said to be PPRP’s next secretary-general

Thailand2 hours ago

Pattaya security guard dies after crashing into garbage truck

Thailand2 hours ago

Killer’s sentence reduced from 10 years to 3, plus community service

Phuket3 hours ago

Over 300 Phuket businesses awarded SHA Plus accreditation ahead of re-opening

Chon Buri3 hours ago

142 new Covid infections in Chon Buri, clusters in market workers and close contacts

Phuket3 hours ago

Phuket 62% vaccinated, Sandbox ready to play in, hopefully

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 3,058 new cases and 22 deaths

Krabi4 hours ago

Krabi hotels pin hopes on Phuket sandbox success

Tourism4 hours ago

Tourism bodies concerned vaccination uncertainty will disrupt re-opening

Indonesia5 hours ago

Over 350 vaccinated medical workers in Indonesia infected, dozens hospitalised

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Nightlife businesses petition government to reopen, sell alcohol

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8