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‘Pencak silat’ experts pick up the Asian Games slack

ASIAN GAMES: Though gold medals remained elusive for the third day in a row, some impressive performances in pencak silat, judo, boxing and volleyball arenas were enough to lift the mood of the Thai contingent at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia yesterday (Aug 29).

By Bangkok Post

Thursday 30 August 2018, 10:00AM

Silver medallist Thailand’s Ilyas Sadara (left) celebrates on the podium during the victory ceremony of the ‘pencak silat’ men’s single at the 2018 Asian Games. Photo: Chaideer Mahyuddin / AFP

Silver medallist Thailand’s Ilyas Sadara (left) celebrates on the podium during the victory ceremony of the ‘pencak silat’ men’s single at the 2018 Asian Games. Photo: Chaideer Mahyuddin / AFP

Ilyas Sadara led the Thai pencak silat team’s efforts in the dance performance events yesterday, claiming a silver that preceded another second-place finish in the women’s doubles.

The Thai women’s team also grabbed the bronze medal.

Pencak silat has turned out to be one of the leading contributors to the Thai tally at Jakarta Palembang 2018, picking up two silver and five bronze medals in all so far.

Sugianto Sugianto of Indonesia scored a victory over Ilyas in the men’s singles dance competition that raised some eyebrows. Sugianto won the close contest with 471 points – only 11 ahead of the 25-year-old Thai from Narathiwat.

Ilyas, a master’s degree holder from Bangkok University, dedicated his silver to the Thai people.

“This one is for everyone back home,” he said. “I tried my best to clinch the title but it isn’t easy to beat the Indonesians in their native martial art and that too in their own country.

“If you ask me, I would say I did better than the Indonesian winner.

“But this is an event in which points are awarded by judges on the basis of their personal perceptions, which makes it difficult for any athlete to beat the local contenders.”

Jongrak Kheowkaew, secretary-general of the Pencak Silat Association of Thailand, said: “The competition was so intense that it almost bloodied my eyes.

“It was a brilliant effort by Ilyas that won us this singles silver today. It is never easy to compete with an expert from the host country at such a multi-sport tournament.”

Yala-native Saowanee Chanthamunee and Oraya Choosuwan from Pattani then formed an impressive tandem to claim the silver in the women’s doubles.

Their performance earned them a total of 564 points, which fell 10 points short of the aggregate managed by Ayu Sidan and Ni Made Dwiyanti of the host country.

The Thai trio of Asma Jehma, Yuweeta Samahoh and Ruhana Chearbuli combined well in the women’s team event to finish third with 448 points.

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Indonesia took the gold with 466 points, narrowly beating Vietnam (464) to second place.

Thai judoka Kackakorn Warasiha, a 24-year-old Khon Kaen native, took the bronze in women’s 52kg after edging out Gantserseg Ganbold of Mongolia with a golden score in the third-place battle.

Meanwhile, Chatchai Butdee, one of Thailand’s top bets to excel in the Asiad boxing ring, failed to make it to the medal rounds of the bantamweight (56kg) class.

The quarter-final battle between Chatchai and Jo Hyo-Nam of North Korea saw both fighters needing medical assistance in the third and final round for bleeding facial cuts.

The North Korean was ahead on four ringside judges’ cards, while the fifth judge gave them a 19-19 tie to spell an end to Chatchai’s campaign this year. Jo was declared a 4-0 winner.

Wuttichai Masuk later made amends with a 4-1 victory over Bekdaulet Ibragimov of Kazakhstan in the light welterweight (64kg) class quarter-finals.

Defending champion Wuttichai started off well but was subjected to an unexpected onslaught at the midway point of the second round.

He was referred to the ringside doctor after developing a nasty lump over his right eyebrow in the second round. However, the Thai held his ground and weathered with ease whatever his opponent could throw at him.

The women’s volleyball team will play long-time rivals South Korea in the semi-finals tomorrow (Aug 31) after veteran captain Pleumjit Thinkaow led them a 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-20) victory over Vietnam.

Thailand will have to overcome the loss of crafty spiker Chatchu-On Moksri who rolled her left ankle and was carried off the court by her teammates during the second set against Vietnam.

The Thai women’s volleyball team finished third at Incheon 2014.

Read original story here.



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