The Kingdom’s female athletes stole the show in the SEA Games competition yesterday, winning four gold medals, including the 13th in women’s volleyball and the fourth in women’s futsal.
The women’s volleyball team led by skipper Pluemjit Thinkaow, Wilawan Apinyapong and Nootsara Tomkom, beat Indonesia 25-18 26-24 26-24 to win for the 13th time, 11th in successive fashion.
The victory came as a huge relief for National coach Danai Sriwatcharamethakul, who was managing the team for the first time at the Games. “We finally met our target. I have been with the national team for a long time but this was the first as the head coach. We were a bit stiff in the final against Indonesia. They were quite confident and we made some mistakes. We have much to learn from this match,” Danai said.
“The new players have taken their game to another level but they still have to gain more experience,” he said.
Former captain Wilawan, who won her eighth SEA Games gold medal, gave credit to Indonesia for their fighting spirit. “Indonesia played very well. They were confident after beating Vietnam and put us under a lot of pressure,” Wilawan said.
Pluemjit appreciated the support of the Thai fans. “We really have to thank them for their support. Many of them were cheering from outside as they were no seats in the stadium,” she said.
The women's futsal team with their gold medals.
The women’s futsal squad thrashed Malaysia 12-0 in the last round-robin game to top the pool with 10 points. They scored three wins and a draw in four matches that earned them the gold medal.
Later in the evening, the men’s team, after a shocking prelim defeat to Indonesia 2-4, redeemed their pride by defeating Malaysia 4-3 to win the gold medal for the fourth successive time.
Men's futsal team.
The women's sepak takraw doubles gold medallists.
In sepak takraw, Thailand beat Vietnam 21-15 20-22 21-9 to win the women’s doubles gold medal. The sepak takraw competition concluded with the Kingdom winning six events, including men’s chinlone event 1, men’s regu team, men’s doubles team, men’s quadrant and women’s regu.
Thai women also won gold medals in taekwondo, and sailing. Benjarat Yangtrakul claimed the women’s under-57 gold in taekwondo while countryman Nutthawee Klompong became a victim of officiating error during the final against Malaysia’s Rozaimi Rozali.
The Thai landed several punches and kicks to the target but he ended up losing the final to the bewilderment of unbiased experts. National coach Choi Young Seok tried to protest several times during the fight but his pleas went in vain. Offended by the result, Nutthawee sarcastically raised the hand of rival Rozaimi Rozali before walking out of the arena.
At the National Velodrome in Nilai, Jutatip Maneephan won the women’s omnium after a total of 164 points, beating Singaporean Yiwei Luo, 161.
Sutida Poonpat and Kunyaporn Buangbon
In sailing, Thailand’s Sutida Poonpat and Kunyaporn Buangbon won the women’s international 420 event.
Elsewhere, Tatsanai Kuakoonrat scored 75 points to win the team overall’s wakeboard gold medal, beating countryman Padiwat Jaemjan, who came second with 70.67.
Thai-Japanese Masayuki Terada won the men’s under 81kg.
Meanwhile, the men’s football final will be held at the Shah Alam Stadium instead of Bukit Jalil, which is being renovated, at 7.45pm Bangkok time tomorrow.