Thai team Sepak Takraw wins gold at SEA Games
Published on: Amended:
Subic Bay Freeport Zone (Philippines) (AFP)
Thailand won a team gold medal in sepak takraw – Southeast Asia kick volleyball – on Sunday, passing Myanmar to take first place in the SEA Games round robin.
Relatively unknown outside of the region, Sepak Takraw involves players demonstrating incredible acrobatic and footballing abilities to prevent a rattan ball from hitting the ground and throwing it over the 1.52-meter-high net into the short of their opponents.
As the Games enter their final days in the Philippines, Thailand’s victory keeps them in fourth place overall with 42 gold medals, behind Vietnam in third (49), Indonesia in second (55) and the host nation, who have been fugitive leaders from the start and currently have a gold harvest of 92.
Seven of the last 11 home nations have finished top of the medal table at the SEA Games, where the flexible sports program has traditionally been heavily geared towards the home team.
Thailand have won their four sepak takraw regular team matches – in which the teams are divided into subgroups of three – against Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sunday’s opponents Myanmar.
In Sunday’s regular team clash at Subic Gymnasium, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Manila, Malaysia came back from behind against Indonesia to clinch the silver medal.
Later, at the 20,000-seat stadium at the main Games hub in New Clark City, medals will be up for grabs in the women’s javelin, long jump, pole vault and hammer, while the men will compete for the high jump and shot put.
Men and women will also compete in the 1500m, 400m and 100m finals.
At the nearby aquatic center there will be finals in the women’s 50m freestyle and 4x100m medley relay, while the men will compete in the 50m breaststroke and 100m freestyle events, and medals. gold medley will be awarded to the individual winners of the Men’s and Women’s 400m Medley.
Thailand will face neighbor Vietnam in the women’s football final in Manila on Sunday night, and the first eSports medals in a multi-sport competition sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee will be awarded at the capital’s San Juan Arena.
About 8,750 athletes and officials are competing in the regional Olympics spread across dozens of venues across the northern Philippines, which was hit by a deadly typhoon earlier this week.
The 11-country Games, with a record 56 sports, were rocked by Typhoon Kammuri, which forced about half of Tuesday’s events to be postponed.
Despite more than a dozen deaths in the storm, none of the athletes, officials or 12,000 volunteers were injured and a full program resumed on Wednesday.
© 2019 AFP