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Thailand’s women suffer double defeat and ‘racist gesture’

Thailand’s women suffer double defeat and ‘racist gesture’

VOLLEYBALL: Thailand’s women ended the second week of the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League with yet another defeat after they lost to the United States 3-0 in Rimini, Italy, on Wednesday 9june 2).

Volleyball
By Bangkok Post

Friday 4 June 2021, 02:15PM


Thailand’s Onuma Sittirak, No.6, reacts as US players celebrate a point during their Nations League match in Italy on Wednesday (June 2). Photo: FIVB.

Thailand’s Onuma Sittirak, No.6, reacts as US players celebrate a point during their Nations League match in Italy on Wednesday (June 2). Photo: FIVB.

The Thai team remained winless after six matches in the annual tournament as they went down to the top-ranked Americans, who claimed their sixth straight victory 25-17, 25-14, 25-16.

Michelle Bartsch-Hackley was the Americans’ top scorer with 18 points while Jordan Thompson had 17.

Onuma Sittirak had seven points while Sutadta Chuewulim had four.

They lost to Serbia 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-23) in a late match on Tuesday.

It was an impressive performance from the Thai team but the match was marred by a ‘racist’ controversy involving Serbia libero Sanja Djurdevic, who was caught on camera celebrating a point by making a ‘slant eyed’ gesture, which created a huge backlash on social media after the match.

Djurdevic later apologised to the Thai team and the Serbia Volleyball Federation (@ossrb) tweeted: “Was it uncalled for? Yes. Was it a racist gesture? Yes. What we argue is that there was no intention or malice. This young girl didn’t grasp the weight of the gesture. It is unacceptable, we agree. But our girls are no racist by any means. We sincerely apologize to all affected.”

It was not the first time the Serbian team were involved in such controversy. In 2017, the team, in a group photo, celebrated by making the same gesture after securing a spot at the 2018 world championship in Japan.

In the first week, Thailand lost to Japan, South Korea and China in the 16-team event.

The top four teams after five weeks advance to the semi-finals.

The Thais will now have a three-day break before beginning their third week action against Turkey on Sunday at 6pm, Thai time.

They will play Russia at 3pm on Monday, followed by a match against the Dominican Republic on Tuesday also at 3pm.

Thailand’s matches will be shown live on Channel 3HD (33).

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