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Surodchana makes up for Sopita’s flop

ASIAN GAMES: Olympic weightlifting champion Sopita Tanasan finished empty-handed but teenager Surodchana Khambao saved the face of Thailand’s weightlifting team by claiming bronze in the women’s 53 kilogram division at the Asian Games in Indonesia yesterday (Aug 21).

By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 22 August 2018, 10:18AM

Sopita Tanasan of Thailand competes in the women’s 53kg weightlifting event during the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta yesterday (Aug 21). Photo: Money Sharma / AFP

Sopita Tanasan of Thailand competes in the women’s 53kg weightlifting event during the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta yesterday (Aug 21). Photo: Money Sharma / AFP

It was a quiet day for Thailand who could only get three bronze medals with the other two won by taekwondo fighter Vipawan Siripornpermsak and cyclist Natalie Panyawan.

With little experience at the senior level, Surodchana, 18, could only make one successful lift of 86kg in snatch but hoisted 115kg in clean and jerk for a total of 201kg.

She was third behind champion Hidlyn Diaz of the Philippines, who managed 92kg in snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk for 207kg, and silver medallist Kristina Shermetova of Turkmenistan (93kg and 113kg for 206kg).

Diaz, the silver medallist in the division at the 2016 Olympics, won the Philippines’ first gold medal of the 2018 Asian Games.

Sopita, the gold medal winner in the 48kg division at the Rio Games, was fifth with a total effort of 199kg (90kg and 109kg).

Surodchana swept three gold medals at this year’s junior world championships.

The Chiang Rai native also claimed three bronze medals at the 2016 youth world championships.

Only one gold medal is awarded in each division at the Olympics and Asian Games.

The Thai Amateur Weightlifting Association (Tawa) has targeted a gold medal at Jakarta Palembang 2018.

With Sopita’s failure, its hope now rests on Sukanya Srisurat, another champion at the Rio Olympics.

Earlier, Eko Yuli Irawan, a silver medallist in Rio, dominated the men’s 62kg competition to take Indonesia’s first weightlifting gold of the Games in front of President Joko Widodo.

New Paths Retreat

Veteran Irawan, 29, has won multiple major medals in a senior weightlifting career stretching back to his bronze at the 2008 Olympics, but had never before set foot on the top step of the podium.

“I’m a proud Indonesian and pleased for the country to win gold,” Irawan said after receiving his medal from president Widodo.

In taekwondo, Vipawan finished third in the women’s 57kg class after losing 12-10 to world champion Lee Ah-Reum of South Korea in the semi-finals.

The losing semi-finalists in taekwondo share the bronze.

In the men’s over 80kg, Nattapat Tantramart came out empty-handed after losing 30-15 to Kazakhstan’s Ruslan Zhaparov in the quarter-finals.

Although the Thai taekwondo team have won a gold medal in the women’s team poomsae (dance) event, they have not yet won a title in the combat competition.

But Thailand coach Choi Young-Seok said he did not feel any pressure.

“Every fighter is good but we still have chances [to win a gold medal],” said the Korean coach.

Thailand's top fighters – Olympic bronze medallist Panipak Wongpattanakit, Olympic silver medallist Tawin Hanprab and Ramnarong Sawekwiharee – have not yet competed.

In cycling, Natalie took bronze in the women’s mountain bike cross-country event in a time of 1:25.54min. She finished behind Chinese duo Yao Bianwa of China (1:20.70) and Li Hongfeng (1:24.39).

Additional reporting by AFP.



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