THE Takraw Association of Thailand has set a target of six gold medals out of the 12 that are on offer in the Thai traditional sport at the SEA Games, which start on August 16 in Malaysia.
Thailand will compete in three of the five disciplines in the men’s category, two in women’s and two in men’s Chinlone at the Indoor Stadium Titiwangsa.
Thai men hope to dominate the team regu, double and quadrant, and have opted to skip the regu and team double as SEA Games rules permit a country to field teams in only three events.
“Our players have been training intensively at the National Takraw Training Centre in Pathum Thani for over six months. We plan to sweep all the three gold medals in the men’s events we are entering. We are the No 1 takraw country in the region and hope to keep it that way,” said national men’s team manager Tawat Kumutponpanich.
National men’s team manager Tawat Kumutponpanich
Tawat seemed concerned about the judging, fearing it might favour hosts Malaysia, who are bitter rivals of Thailand in the sport.
“Our players have trained really hard to tackle any situation and tactics of the hosts. There is a likelihood of referees favouring the hosts. If it is a case of a few points, I think we will be able to take that,” said Tawat.
Thailand will send teams to the Event 1 (Non-Repetition Primary) and Event 2 (Same Stroke) in Chinlone, a traditional strength of Myanmar which is similar to the circle takraw event but with one player posted in the middle.
According to Pairoj Archarungroj, reigning champions Thailand have a fair chance of winning a gold medal in Event 1. He also expects the women’s team to win the regu and double events.
Meanwhile, the Thai Tenpin Bowling Association is eyeing gold medals in the men’s singles, men’s trios and men’s teams in the bowling competition.