Poland & Chinese Taipei top Malaysian podiums

Langkawi, Malaysia, March 15, 2020 - Poland captured its second men's World Tour gold medal of the week here Sunday while the Chinese Taipei women's duo of Nai-Han Kou and Pi Hsin Liu topped an FIVB beach volleyball stop for the third time to highlight action at the fourth annual Langkawi Open.

Jedrzej Brozyniak and Piotr Janiak joined compatriots Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek in winning Poland's eighth and ninth men's World Tour titles since the start of FIVB-sanctioned beach volleyball events in 1987 by defeating 10th-seeded qualifiers Alexander Annerstedt and Martin Johansson of Sweden 2-1 (21-19, 14-21, 15-8) in the 50-minute Langkawi finale.

On Friday in Qatar, Bryl and Fijalek posted a 2-1 (16-21, 21-19, 15-11) win in 63 minutes over Josue Gaxiola and Jose Rubio of Mexico. The Polish title was the second for the country in Qatar as Brozyniak and Janiak topped the Doha podium at an FIVB event last November.

Jedrzej Brozyniak (left) and Piotr Janiak of Poland

Entered in the women's main draw as the second-seeded team, Kou and Liu posted a 2-0 (23-21, 21-18) win in 41 minutes over the Klinger (Donna and Ronja) sisters of Austria. While the sisters were winning their first FIVB medal together as a team, Kou and Liu have now placed on a World Tour podium five times. 

Both gold medal teams Sunday rebounded from pool play setbacks Friday. Kou and Liu avenged their only loss of the competition by defeating seventh-seeded qualifiers Reika Murakami/Kaho Sakaguchi of Japan in the semifinals. Brozyniak and Janiak dropped their first Langkawi group contest to a team from Hungary before rebounding to win their next five matches.

Chinese Taipei also secured a bronze medal in Langkawi as top-seeded Ya-Jen Hsieh and Chin-Ju Wang defeated seventh-seeded Dunwinit Kaewsai and Prathip Sukto of Thailand in the men's third-place contest.  The women's bronze competition was not played as Murakami and Sakaguchi were awarded a forfeit victory due to an injury by Japanese rivals Yurika Sakaguchi/Chiyo Suzuki of Japan.

Sunday’s action concluded FIVB World Tour action for March as the next two events in Australia (Coolangatta, March 18-22) and Mexico (Cancun, March 25-29) have been postponed due to the ongoing global coronavirus outbreak.


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