Thailand athletes produced eight gold medals on Thursday while the women's football team took the silver in heart-breaking fashion.
THAILAND REIGNED supreme in the SEA Games golf competition and women’s badminton team championship yesterday.
At the Mines Resort Country Club in Selangor, Thai-Japanese Kosuke Hamamoto carded a final-round 68 for 8-under-par 203 to claim the men’s individual gold medal and maintain a stranglehold Thais have enjoyed since 1996. He came from two shots behind to beat Marc Ong of Singapore by just a stroke.
Thailand's golf team after winning both individual events.
In the women’s individual category, teenage prodigy Atthaya Thitikul lived up to the expectations with a sizzling 63 to snatch the gold medal with a total 14-under-par 199, beating team-mate Thitapa Iamtragul by seven strokes.
The 18-year-old Kosuke, who hails from Chiang Mai, was overcome with joy. “I was so excited to win the gold. I was not able to shoot good scores at the start, but I fought it out and began making birdies. He was leading by two shots with four holes to play. Luckily I chipped in on the 15th and he made a bogey. I am happy that I fought for the country,” said.
Atthaya, 14, has been the favourite for the gold medal ever since she made history by becoming the youngest to win a professional golf event in the LET Thailand Championships in Chonbri in July.
“I played my best round this week. I putted well and hit some good approach shots. I’m so honoured to win this gold for Thailand,” said Athaya.
Kosuke, Kamalas Namuangruk, and Witchayanon Chothirungrueng will next compete in the team event while Atthaya and Thitipa will fight the battle in the women’s team category. The team events will be competed in matchplay format.
At the Axiata Arena, Thai badminton’s women team won the gold for the second consecutive time with a 3-1 win over Malaysia.
It all began with Busanan Ongbamrungphan, who put Thailand to a great start with a win over Soniia Cheah 21-12 21-10. Then in the women’s doubles, Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai fought back to beat Vivian Hoo and Woon Khe Wei 9-21 21-11 21-18.
Despite a defeat in the second singles rubber when Nitchaon Jindapol went down to Goh Jin Wei 20-22 25-23 20-22, Thailand recovered to win the second doubles rubber. Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai beat Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean 21-12 16-21 21-18.
In boxing, Thailand won two gold medals from five events in the yesterday’s finals through Wutichai Masuk in the under-64kg category and Chatchai Butdee in the under-56kg.
Shooter Ratchadapron Plengsaengthong retained the women’s rifle prone gold medal after firing 619.8 points.
Navuti Liphongyu won the first gold medal for the Thai cycling team in the men’s road race. In men’s pole vault, Poranot Purahong set a Games record by soaring to 5.35m to win the gold.
In soccer, Thailand men's team beat Vietnam 3-0 in the last pool B round robin to reach the semi-finals as the leaders of Pool B. However it was a dramatic ending for the Thai women's team which had to settle for the silver.
The Thai women beat the Philippines 3-1 in their last round robin but Vietnam shattered their dream of winning the gold with a 6-0 win over Malaysia in the other round robin which saw Vietnam finish atop of the group with better goal difference.
Thailand won a total of eight gold medals on Thursday and have collected a total of 24 gold medals in this SEA Games.