Asean Schools Games: Thailand successfully defend both titles in sepak takraw

SINGAPORE - Thailand's sepak takraw teams took both gold medals at the 9th Asean Schools Games on the second day of action on Sunday (July 16), beating Indonesia in both finals in the boys' regu and boys' doubles events.

In the regu event, the Thai quintet of Teerawat Prakob, Pongsakda Janrisa, Pisit Thinbangbon, Phutawan Sopa and Sahakan Suiyang triumphed over their opponents in fairly comfortable fashion, winning in straight sets, 21-10 and 21-12 at the Singapore Sepak Takraw Federation.

The doubles however, was a much tighter affair. Amid the raucous cheers of their defeated team-mates, the Indonesians took the first set 21-15. The second came right down to the wire, with the gap never more than two points. It was the Thais who eventually won 21-19 to level out match at one set apiece.

The second-set effort seemed to take a physical toll on the Indonesians however, and unable to keep up with the athleticism of their Thai rivals, they succumbed 12-21, as the latter celebrated retaining both titles from last year.

On Saturday, the Singaporean trio of Mohd Danish, Darmiziey Azlan, and Mohd Zufar had to settle for a joint bronze with Malaysia in the doubles, losing in the semi-finals to Indonesia 13-21, 11-21. This is the Republic's first medal in the sport at the Games and the 16-year-old students were understandably pleased with their results.

"I feel very proud of my team-mates, especially since last time round (in the last ASG) we didn't manage to beat a single team, getting bronze this time shows that we are improving," said Darmiziey.

Laos and the Philippines shared third spot in the regu.

The sepak takraw competition continues with the team event on Monday. Singapore play Myanmar in Group B at 2pm, after Indonesia take on Malaysia at 10am. Thailand, Brunei, Philippines and Laos are in Group A.