Thais set sights on golds in takraw

Thais set sights on golds in takraw

'TD Keane' defeats 'JUBJUB' for crown

Thailand's Teedech Songsaisakul poses with his gold medal after winning the EA Sports FC Online title at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Wednesday night.
Thailand's Teedech Songsaisakul poses with his gold medal after winning the EA Sports FC Online title at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Wednesday night.

Thailand will be hoping for a sweep of sepak takraw team regu titles when the men and women's finals take place at the Hangzhou Asian Games in China on Friday.

The Thai women took their cue from the men's team and marched into the gold medal match on Thursday following a convincing 2-0 victory over Laos.

The first match of the semi-final was over in just 33 minutes as the Thais claimed the first set 21-10 before wrapping up the second with the same scoreline.

The Thais were even more dominant in the second match, recording a 21-7, 21-4 victory over Laos in only 27 minutes.

They will face South Korea in the title showdown at JSC Gymnasium on Friday.

The South Koreans stormed into the final after a 2-0 triumph over Indonesia in the other semi-final on Thursday.

In the men's team regu final today, the Thais will take on arch-rivals Malaysia at the same venue.

On Wednesday night, Thailand's Teedech 'TD Keane' Songsaisakul beat compatriot Varanan 'JUBJUB' Phatanasak in the final of EA Sports FC Online.

Teedech, whose father Jumphot is a football journalist, said his parents initially did not support him to play online games.

But after Teedech started winning prize money, they gave him their full backing.

"They even go to watch me compete," Teedech said.

Teedech will get huge financial rewards from the government and well-wishers.

According to the National Sports Development Fund's bonus scheme for the Asian Games, a champion receives two million baht, a silver medallist one million baht and a bronze winner 500,000 baht.

Elsewhere on Thursday, Thailand were guaranteed a men's tennis doubles bronze medal following their 2-1 semi-final loss to Taiwan.

Pruchaya Isaro and Parapol Maximus Jones teamed up to take first set 6-4 from Hsu Yu-hsiou and Jason Jung, but the Taiwanese pair hit back to level the score at 1-1 after grabbing the gruelling second set 7-6. Hsu and Jung won the tie-breaker 7-5.

The Taiwanese duo dominated the deciding third set for a 10-2 victory to face either India or South Korea in Friday's final.

In some events at the Games, bronze medals are awarded to both losing semi-finalists.

In boxing, Thailand's Thitisan Panmot defeated Tu Po-wei of Taiwan 4-1 to book his berth in the quarter-finals of the men's 51kg division on Thursday.

However, his compatriot Peerapat Yeasungnoen failed to advance after losing to Tuguldur Byambatsogt of Mongolia 5-0 of the men's 71kg division.

North Koreans in tears

Three North Korean shooters cried their eyes out on the podium after winning the country's first gold medal on Thursday.

The trio saluted and gradually dissolved into floods of tears as the red, white and blue North Korean flag was raised in Hangzhou -- in contravention of World Anti-Doping Agency rules.

It was North Korea's first gold medal of the Hangzhou Games and first in major international competition since the Covid pandemic, having skipped the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and then been barred from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Paek Ok-Sim, Pang Myong-Hyang and Ri Ji-Ye triumphed in the 10m running target women's team competition, ahead of Kazakhstan and Indonesia.

Another gold soon rolled in for North Korea, this time for gymnast An Chang-Ok in the women's vault. Compatriot Kim Son-Hyang took silver.

North Korea's flag was brandished at the opening ceremony and in medal ceremonies at the Games, despite supposedly being banned from doing so over doping violations. 

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