Covid grounds high-flying Thai spikers after 8 players infected

Covid grounds high-flying Thai spikers after 8 players infected

Thai volleyball players celebrate during a match against Canada in Quezon City in the Philippines on Tuesday. (Volleyball Association of Thailand photo)
Thai volleyball players celebrate during a match against Canada in Quezon City in the Philippines on Tuesday. (Volleyball Association of Thailand photo)

The high-flying Thai women's volleyball team has suddenly become short-handed after eight spikers were infected with the coronavirus during a tournament in the Philippines.

Thailand Volleyball Association president Somporn Chaybangyang said on Wednesday the country had only eight players left in the squad after another eight tested positive for Covid-19 in Quezon City.

Piyanut Pannoy, Suppattra Pairoj, Watchareeya Nuanjam and Sutadta Chuewulim tested positive on Sunday, he said. Then test results on Sasipaporn Janthawisut, Hattaya Bamrungsuk, Tichakorn Boonlert and Natthanicha Jaisean on Wednesday showed they had also been infected with the virus.

On Tuesday the Thai team cruised past Canada in their first match of the second week of the FIVB Volleyball Women's Nations League.

They will meet Poland on Thursday and Japan on Friday before wrapping up the week against the United States on Sunday.

Mr Somporn said the association was requesting special permission from the league organisers, the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), to allow the players in the 25-member squad currently practicing in Thailand to replace the sick spikers in the tournament.

He hoped all the squad members would be fit for the next tournament in Bulgaria.

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