The Thais now look set to miss their Asian Games target of 17 gold medals. Their total last night stood at nine golds to go with 10 silvers and 33 bronzes.
Had it not been for the Thai bridge experts, featuring former senator Chodchoy Sophonpanich, it would have been a pretty dull day in Indonesia for the Kingdom’s athletes.
While Suttisak Singkhon collected his silver medal, he had sealed his place in the history books earlier as the first Thai ever to capture a medal in the Asian Games decathlon competition late on Sunday night (Aug 26).
The six-strong Thai bridge squad comprising three female players – Taristchollatorn Chodchoy, Kanokporn Janebunjong and Chodchoy – and three men – Somchai Baisamut, Kridsadayut Plengsap and Terasak Jitngamkusol – had a tough time against their Chinese opponents in the mixed team final.
While the Thais failed to match their rivals in any of the three rubbers, they earned the plaudits for making their way through to the title showdown from a field containing some tough competitors.
The Chinese led 46.67-6.00 after the first rubber and improved it to 80.67-30.00 after the second before eventually claiming a massive 122.67-70.00 victory over the Thais.
Indonesia and India shared the bronze.
Weightlifter Duangsakorn Chaidee finished third in the women’s over-75kg class, missing out on the silver by a mere two kilograms.
Duangsakorn remained in contention for the second place until late in the competition, but could only carry the Thai lifters’ haul to six bronze medals in the tournament.
She managed a 121kg in the snatch category to lag behind eventual winner Kim Kuk-Hyang (126kg) of North Korea and Son Young-Hee (122kg) of South Korea.
Duangsakorn’s best in clean and jerk was 159kg, which fell way short of Kim’s 165kg on her second attempt that assured the North Korean of the gold with a total of 291kg.
Son first lifted 155kg and improved it to 160kg to carry her total to 282kg, only two kilograms more than Duangsakorn’s total.
Another Thai weightlifter, Chitchanok Pulsabsakul (268kg), was fifth in the competition that featured only six lifters from four countries on the final day of the weightlifting tournament.
The Thai pencak silat experts made another contribution by grabbing their fourth bronze of the Games so far.
In the men’s team final, Fadil Dama, Masofee Wani and Islamee Wani amassed 448 points to finish third behind Indonesia (465) and Vietnam (450).
On the last day of the women’s volleyball first round, Thailand beat Indonesia 3-1 (25-19, 20-25, 25-13, 25-13) to finish their Pool A matches with an unbeaten record.
The Thais pushed Asian powerhouse Japan to second place in Pool A as they both made it to the quarter-finals from the group along with hosts Indonesia and the Philippines.
The Thai women had earlier blanked the Japanese 3-0 and conceded their only set of the first round competition against the Indonesians yesterday.
The Thais will meet Taiwan in the last eight.
It wasn’t a great day for the Thais in the Asiad boxing ring as two of their three fighters in action bowed out in the round of 16.
Wutthichai Yurachai was the first to crash out, losing 5-0 to Wu Zonglin of China in the men’s 49kg category.
Aphisit Khankhokkhruea was the next to go after Abilkhan Amankul of Kazakhstan outscored him on all five ringside judges’ cards in the 75kg contest.
Defending 64kg champion Wuttichai Masuk made it look respectable by beating Bakhodour Usmonov of Tajikistan 4-1 on points and entering the quarter-finals.
Earlier on Sunday night Suttisak wrapped up an impressive performance in track and field’s gruelling decathlon event that had the Thai athletics association secretary-general Supawanat Ariyamongkol declaring him a “born decathlete”.
The 21-year-old Suttisak from Maha Sarakham carded a total of 8009 points, with his best being recorded in the high jump and 400m contests which he won.
He also impressed in long jump, discus throw and javelin throw, taking second spot in the events.
Suttisak was third in shot put and 100m competition.
It was his low finishes in the 1,500m, 110m hurdles and pole vault tussles that cost him the place on the top of the podium.
Keisuke Ushiro (7,878 points) was the runaway winner in the decathlon competition, with Suttisak and Akihiko Nakamura (7,738), also from Japan, taking silver and bronze respectively.
“Two years ago, he made a total of about 6,000 points so managing a total of 8,000-plus points is a praiseworthy improvement,” said Supawanat.
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