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Thais dash Malaysia’s gold dream

SEA GAMES: The Thai women’s sepak takraw regu team proved too strong for Malaysia as they beat the hosts 2-0 in the deciding match at the SEA Games yesterday (Aug 21).

Bangkok Post

Tuesday 22 August 2017, 09:44AM

Thai women’s sepak takraw players pose with their gold medals after winning the regu title yesterday (Aug 21). Photo: PR

Thai women’s sepak takraw players pose with their gold medals after winning the regu title yesterday (Aug 21). Photo: PR

With Sudaporn Palang, Sasiwimol Jantasit and Thidarat Soda in the staring line-up, the Thais had few problems in their 21-10, 21-12 win in their last match of the four-team round-robin tournament.

As Thailand were heading for an easy win, coach Veeras Na Nongkhai replaced Thidarat with 15-year-old star Wipada Jitpruan.

The Malaysians finished second and the Philippines third.

It was another blow for the hosts as they also lost to Thailand in the gold medal match in the men’s team regu on Saturday (Aug 19).

Both Thailand and Malaysia lay claims to being the birthplace for the sport.

“We can say that we are the top nation [of the sport] in Asean and in the world,” Veeras said after yesterday’s triumph.

“We aim to win all events we compete in.”

Reaching the final was already good enough for the Malaysian women.

“It was a historic achievement for the Malaysian women sepak takraw team as they clinched the silver medal of the regu event,” the official website reported.

“The victory bettered the bronze medal performance in Singapore two years ago. They [Malaysia] settled for silver but it was enough to bring cheers to the Malaysian camp as it was the team’s best achievement thus far.”

In boxing, the Thai team continued their good run in Kuala Lumpur with four fighters securing wins in the quarter-finals yesterday.

Reaching the semi-finals means they are assured of at least bronze medals. There are only six weight classes in the men’s event and the hosts are not organising the women’s competition.

In the 49kg class, Thani Rarinram edged defending champion Kornelis Kwang of Indonesia 3-2.

“I want to win the gold medal for my father who is in heaven,” said an emotional Thani who is fighting in his first SEA Games.

In the 56kg division, Chatchai Butdee comfortably beat Indonesia’s Simon Makerawe 5-0.

In the 64kg class, defending champion Wuttichai Masuk defeated Vietnam’s Bui Phuoc Tung 5-0 with all five judges scoring it 30-27 in favour of the Thai.

In the 81kg class, Anawat Thongkratoke also enjoyed a 5-0 win.

In all, six Thai boxers will fight in the semi-finals today (Aug 22).

In fencing, Thailand’s Voragan Srinualnad had to settle for silver after losing 15-6 to Vietnam’s Vu Thanh An in the men’s individual sabre final.

Athletes from 11 nations are competing in 38 sports with 404 gold medals on offer.

Thailand are aiming to win 109 golds in their bid to retain the overall crown.

The 2017 Games end on Aug 30.

Read original story here.



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