Japan wins gold in FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour
Japan’s Ayumi Kusano and Takemi Nishibori scored a two-set sweep over Spain’s Paulo Gutiérrez and Maria Belén, 21-14, 21-18, to take the gold medal in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Manila Open Sunday at SM Sands by the Bay.
The Japanese pair managed to get to the 21-15 match point but the Spaniards put up three straight points to keep their faith alive.
Nishibori, however, has had enough and delivered the knockout blow off Kusano’s perfect pass.
“We’re so happy, this is perfect,” said Kusano who, with Nishibori, went on a perfect 6-0 run in the one-star event.
Paraguay’s Erika Bobadilla and Michelle Amarilla won the bronze medal after brushing off Japan’s Shinako Tanaka and Sakurako Fujii, 21-17, 21-16.
Bobadilla and Amarilla’s triumph gave Paraguay its first medal in the FIVB World Tour and the pair will return to their home country bringing not only their pieces of hardware but memories of their more than one-week stay in the Philippines.
“We loved Manila, we were so easily adjusted here,” said Bobadilla who placed fifth in Langkawi, another one-star event, before playing in the Philippines. “Having people being supportive for us is really great for us.”