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Mixed doubles drought ends for Thais

SEA GAMES: Thailand’s mixed doubles table tennis team ended their 32-year wait after beating Singapore 3-1 to win the gold medal, while the women’s rugby sevens team retained their title at the 29th SEA Games in Malaysia yesterday (Aug 20).

Bangkok Post

Monday 21 August 2017, 12:03PM

Mixed doubles table tennis team of Padasak Tanviriyawechkul (left) and Suthasini Sawekbut. Photo: via Bangkok Post
Mixed doubles table tennis team of Padasak Tanviriyawechkul (left) and Suthasini Sawekbut. Photo: via Bangkok Post

In table tennis, Padasak Tanviriyawechkul and Suthasini Sawekbut, who were runners-up at the Singapore Games two years ago, rallied to defeat favourites Pang Xue Jie and Yu Mengyu of Singapore 3-1 (7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8) in the title match at MiTEC Hall.

The last time Thailand claimed the mixed doubles table tennis gold was at the 1985 Games in Thailand where Manop Kantawang and Kwanta Kumutpongpanich were the winners.

The success follows Suthasini’s victorious run in Singapore two years ago when she won the Kingdom’s first women’s singles gold in 32 years.

“I’m so happy we won today. We’ve been playing together for a long time and to have finally made it is a great feeling,” said Padasak.

“Two years ago in Singapore we were too nervous and made too many mistakes in the final. But we learned from it and this time we finally pulled if off.”

Suthasini added, “We dreamed of winning the mixed doubles gold for so long so this win feels really great.”

Suthasini, who will defend her women’s singles title, admitted it will be hard to make it two in a row.

“It will be tough defending my title here. Two years ago I won against an up-and-coming Singapore player, but this time they have two Chinese-born players.

“Anyway, I will do my best and try not to put too much pressure on myself. We’ll see what happens.”

In the rugby sevens competition, the Thai women’s team defeated Singapore 17-10 in the gold medal match at Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) Stadium in Kelana Jaya.

Their male counterparts claimed the bronze with a 26-7 victory over the Philippines. Hosts Malaysia took the gold medal after beating Singapore 22-7 in the final.

The rugby sevens event was being held for only the seventh time in the SEA Games history since it was introduced in 1969.

In the equestrian endurance race, the Thai team of Wipawan Pawittayalarp, Kitikorn Nongbueng, Kanapos Taytaisong and Prutirat Rattanakul Serireongrith took the silver, while hosts Malaysia won the gold and Cambodia took the bronze.

A Malaysian sultan made more history in the Games by winning the individual gold medal.

Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, the first sultan to compete in the biennial tournament, galloped to victory after nearly six hours in the 80 kilometre race.

Sultan Mizan, 55, ruler of northeast Terengganu state, finished ahead of his teammate Mohd Bulkhari Bin Rozali, while Warit Khuntaraporn won the bronze for Thailand.

Thailand had another bronze from archer Wittaya Thamwong from the men’s recurve event.

In boxing, four Thai fighters – Tanes Ongjunta (flyweight 52kg), Chatchai Butdee (bantamweight 56kg), Wuttichai Masuk (light welterweight 64kg) and Pathomsak Kuttiya (middleweight 75kg) – all won their bouts yesterday at MiTEC Hall 8.

Tanes and Pathomsak, who were fighting in the quarter-finals, are already guaranteed of bronze medals following their respective victories. Chatchai and Wuttichai, meanwhile, advanced to the last eight.

Tanes outpointed Hang Ramorn of Cambodia, Chatchai beat Arfiqanie B Ahmad Anshori of Malaysia on points, while Pathomsak also won on points against Myo Kyaw Thu of Myanmar.

Wuttichai won by RSC in round two against Phal Sophon after sending his Cambodian opponent to the floor three times in the first two rounds.

Read original story here.



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