16.02.2020 - Vienna, Austria
Australia and China are the first continental champions of 2020 as Aussies Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann and Chinese Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia prevailed at the Asian Championships in Udon Thani, Thailand.
Playing together for the first time since their shocking split shortley after they won the 2018 Commonwealth Games, McHugh and Schumann secured their first continental title together following a 21-17, 14-21, 15-10 win over China’s Likejiang Ha and Jiaxin Wu.
“It was great taking it to China and defeating them today in front of a great Thai crowd and our fans back home,” Schumann said. “For me personally, I’ve won a few medals over the last few years, but I’ve never been able to get the gold one. So to do it at the Asian Championships back playing with Chris feels special.”
Schumann celebrated this first Asian title while McHugh secured his fourth victory, joining Indonesia’s Koko Prasetyo Darkuncoro as the only four-time winners. The Australian blocker also won at the 2012, 2014 and 2016 editions with former partner Isaac Kapa.
Australia also earned the bronze medal of the event with Zachery Schubert and Max Guehrer, who defeated Kazakhstan’s Alexey Sidorenko and Alexandr Dyachenko in straight sets (25-23, 21-16).
China had an even stronger dominace in the women’s tournament as the country took both the gold and silver medals in Udon Thoni. The top of the podium was taken by Wang and Xia, who downed compatriots Shuhui Wen and Jingzhe Wang in straight sets (21-17, 21-16) at the all-Chinese final.
It was the ninth victory of a Chinese team in the tournament and the second for Xia, who also prevailed in the 2016 edition, when she paired with Beijing 2008 Olympic silver medalist Chen Xue.
Japan’s Olympic hopefuls Megumi Murakami and Miki Ishii completed the podium following a forfeit victory over fellow Japanese Sayaka Mizoe and Takemi Nishibori.
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