Weka, Noppassorn navigate to glory

Weka, Noppassorn navigate to glory

Banlung picks gold, makes Thais proud

Thai sailors Noppassorn Khunboonjan, left, and Weka Bhanubandh compete during Tuesday's Dinghy ILCA4 final races. (Photo supplied)
Thai sailors Noppassorn Khunboonjan, left, and Weka Bhanubandh compete during Tuesday's Dinghy ILCA4 final races. (Photo supplied)

Sailors ML Weka Bhanubandh and Noppassorn Khunboonjan won two gold medals for Thailand at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Tuesday.

ML Weka, 16, won the boy's dinghy ILCA4 event while Noppassorn, 17, topped the girl's dinghy ILCA4 event at NBX Sailing Centre.

On the last day of competition, world junior champion ML Weka finished second in Race 11 behind Isaac Goh of Singapore but still managed to take the title after dropping only 13 points.

It was his first Asian Games gold medal.

Goh took the silver medal (21 points) while Mohammad Igbal of Malaysia (42 points) won bronze.

Noppassorn also came second in the last race on Tuesday but still took the gold after dropping only 16 points. India's Neha Thakur (27) took silver while Keira Marie Carlyle (28) took bronze.

Windsurfers Natthaphong Phonoppharat and Siripon Kaewduangngam added two silver medals after finishing second in the men's and women's RS:X events respectively on Tuesday.

Thailand's Banlung Taptimdang, right, in action against Iran's Alireza Hosseinpour in the men's under-63kg class. (Photo: AFP)

Thai Taekwondo stars delivered another gold medal in Hangzhou on Tuesday when Banlung Taptimdang won the men's 63kg class top honours.

Banlung was in top form as he posted a 2-0 triumph over Iran's Alireza Hosseinpour in the title showdown.

It was a close affair in the first round which the Thai fighter narrowly won 7-6.

Hoseinpour gained a slim 7-6 advantage in the second round with just 19 seconds remaining, but then conceded two penalty points which handed the lead to his Thai opponent.

Banlung was quick to unleash a body kick and a punch to seal the fate of the match with a 11-7 victory in the second round.

Banlung said after his victory that he was happy to have won the gold medal for his country.

"I wasn't under pressure in the final," said the Thai gold medallist.

"We both were focused but I just followed the plan the coach had given me and it worked out well."

Chutikan Jongkolrattanawattana settled for a bronze medal in the women's 53kg category following a 2-0 loss to Oark Hyejin of South Korea in the semi-finals on Tuesday.

Earlier on Monday, Panipak won Thailand's first gold of the Games after she defeated China's Guo Qing in the drama-filled women's 49kg final.

It was her second Asian Games gold medal after her success in Indonesia in 2018.

Panipak, who won the Tokyo Olympics gold medal, has said she will retire after the 2024 Paris Games.

Historic esports medal

Thailand claimed the first esports medal awarded at the Games, winning a bronze in a play-off against Vietnam in a mobile phone game.

Esports was a demonstration tournament at the Jakarta Asian Games five years ago but is a medal event in Hangzhou for the first time.

The tournament has drawn crowds to Hangzhou's Esports Centre since Sunday, underlining Chinese fans' enthusiasm for esports despite local rules limiting children's gaming time.

On Tuesday, they cheered on five Thai gamers -- Sorawat Boonphrom, Anusak Manpdong, Chayut Suebka, Vatcharanan Thaworn and Kawee Wachiraphas -- as they beat their Vietnam counterparts 2-0 in a best-of-three match for bronze in 'Arena of Valor'.

"We feel excited and great," said Bangkok native Boonphrom, 30, after the win. "The feeling is good, so good."

Malaysia and China were to play for esports' first gold medal in the evening session, also for Arena of Valor.

In boxing, Baison Maneekon defeated Aziza Zokirova of Uzbekistan 5-0 to move into the quarter-finals of the women's 75kg division at Hangzhou Gymnasium.

Baison was a silver medallist at the recent world championships in Jordan.

In equestrian, Thailand came fifth in the dressage event on Tuesday.

The team, led by Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana, scored 194.118 at the Tonglu Equestrian Centre.

Other team members were Pawarisa Thongpradub, Klara Chanjanok Ruecker and Supasin Kongpun.

India won the gold medal on 209.205 points. China (204.882) and Hong Kong (204.852) took silver and bronze medals respectively. 

Thailand players prepare for the 'Arena of Valor' Asian Games version bronze medal match against Vietnam. (Photo: AFP)

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