December 15, 2014: Takemi Nishibori and Sayaka Mizoeâ€™s surprise run at the season-ending Mangaung Open in South Africa finished with a silver after the Japanese duo lost 2-0 (21-15, 21-17) to Czech pair Martina Bonnerova and Barbora Hermannova in Sundayâ€™s final.
Nishibori, 33, and Mizoe, 24, had come from behind to win their quarter-final and semi-final matches to reach their first final since teaming up last year, but couldnâ€™t muster the energy to pull off another victory.
Despite the loss, the pair were proud to secure Japanâ€™s first medal on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour since Yukiki Takahashi and Mika Teru Saika won silver in Osaka in 2000.
â€œWe are empty; no energy left,â€ Mizoe said, before Nishibori added: â€œBut we are so happy to win our first medal. We are proud.â€
Bonnerova and Hermannova also won their first medal on the circuit, while Russiaâ€™s Evgenia Ukolova and Maria Prokopeva claimed the bronze.
â€œI wanted this so much,â€ Hermannova said. â€œWe knew we had a good chance, but we had to fight for it. They are so fast and clever players. But our tactics worked well. They play a lot of shots behind the net, but I was prepared for it and Martina dug a lot line hits.â€
In the menâ€™s final, Dutch pair Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst defeated Chilean cousins Esteban and Marco Grimalt 2-0 (21-18, 21-18). Nummerdor and Varenhorst won their second gold in only three World Tour events together, having also won the Sao Paulo Grand Slam in September. Franceâ€™s Youssef Krou and Edouard Rowlandson won the bronze medal.
The Mangaung Open was the final leg of this yearâ€™s World Tour. The 2015 season features six Grand Slams, a new Major Series involving four tournaments, a World Tour Finals in the USA and six Opens, totalling 17 tournaments and record prize money of US$9.3 million.
The double-gender Fuzhou Open in China, the first event on this yearâ€™s calendar, will again kick off the World Tour and will be held from April 21-26. The Dutch cities of The Hague, Apeldoorn, Amsterdam and Rotterdam will host the US$1 million FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships from June 26-July 5.
Source :Â sport-asia