Prayut hails Thailand's contingent

Prayut hails Thailand's contingent

Athletes take home B207m as rewards

Thai women's volleyball players pose at Government House ahead of a reception for the SEA Games athletes on Tuesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Thai women's volleyball players pose at Government House ahead of a reception for the SEA Games athletes on Tuesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha hailed Thailand's 2021 SEA Games contingent during a reception at Government House on Tuesday night.

Gen Prayut thanked all involved parties for bringing pride and glory to the country and compatriots with their performances at the SEA Games in Vietnam in May.

"Your are our pride," the prime minister said.

He said the government supports sports as a soft power which could help revive the country's economy and boost tourism.

At the 31st SEA Games, Thailand finished second in the medal standings with 92 gold, 103 silver and 136 bronze for a total of 331 medals.

They were far behind hosts and overall champions Vietnam who claimed 205 gold, 125 silver and 116 bronze for a total of 446 medals.

The tournament was postponed from last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thailand's medal-winning athletes, along with their coaches and associations, received a total of 207 million baht in bonus from Gen Prayut.

Under the National Sports Development Fund's bonus scheme for the SEA Games, a champion gets 300,000 baht, a runner-up 150,000 baht and a bronze medallist 75,000 baht.

The coaches and associations of the successful athletes also receive separate financial rewards.

Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) governor Gongsak Yodmani earlier said he was pleased with the athletes' efforts.

He said there were too many regional events at the Vietnam tournament which had 40 sports with more than 500 gold medals.

Thailand's brightest stars at the Vietnam Games included teenage runners Puripol Boonson and Joshua Robert Atkinson.

Puripol, 16, completed a hat-trick of sprint titles -- the men's 100m and 200m and 4x100m relay -- in his Games debut.

He won the 200m title with a Games record of 20.37sec.

Joshua, 19, got four gold medals in the men's 400m, 800m and 4x400 relay and mixed 4x400m relay.

The women's volleyball team continued their supremacy, winning the country's 13th successive gold medal in the discipline.

The team will face Turkey in the quarter-finals of the Nations League next week. The players and coach Danai Sriwatcharamethakul attended yesterday's function.

The next SEA Games will be held in Cambodia in 2023.

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