Takraw stars deliver promised golds
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Takraw stars deliver promised golds

Thais set to miss their Hangzhou Games target of 15 titles

In a class of their own: The Thai men's and women's sepak takraw players pose with their gold medals in the regu events at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Saturday.
In a class of their own: The Thai men's and women's sepak takraw players pose with their gold medals in the regu events at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Saturday.

Hangzhou: Thailand bagged two more gold medals after winning the men's and women's sepak takraw regu events on the penultimate day of the 19th Asian Games on Saturday.

Weightlifter Duangaksorn Chaidee won the bronze medal in the women's over-87kg class while the women's volleyball squad also took bronze after beating Southeast Asian rivals Vietnam in the third-place match.

Thailand have 12 gold medals -- one more than their tally at the 2018 Games in Indonesia.

With only a few events left before the closing ceremony of Hangzhou 2022 on Sunday, the Thais have failed to meet their minimum target of winning 15 titles in China.

At Jinhua Sports Centre Gymnasium, the Thai men's sepak takraw team defeated their Southeast Asian rivals Malaysia 2-0 (21-15, 21-19) to claim their sixth successive Asiad crown.

The Thai squad were led by Pattarapong Yupadee, Sittipong Khamchan and Pichet Pansan while Siriwat Sakha and Varayut Jantarasena were on the bench.

Their women's compatriots then clinched the country's 12th gold medal after they defeated Vietnam 2-0 (21-15, 21-12) in the title match.

It was their fifth straight gold at the Games.

The victories completed a sweep of sepak takraw titles as Thailand had won the men's and women's team regu events on Sept 29.

Thailand did not take part in the quadrant competition as Myanmar took gold in the men's event and Vietnam won the women's title.

Lifter Duangaksorn had a combined effort of 275kg (120kg in snatch and 155kg in clean and jerk) in the women's over-87kg class.

The gold medal went to Park Hye-Jeong after the South Korean athlete had a total effort of 294kg (125kg and 169kg).

Son Young-Hee, also from South Korea, claimed the silver medal after finishing on 283kg (124kg and 159kg).

Duangaksorn, 26, also won bronze at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, finishing third in the women's over-75kg event.

The women's volleyball team claimed the bronze medal after beating Vietnam 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-20).

Pimpichaya Kokram was the Asian champions' top scorer with 20 points.

Chatchu-On Mokri and Thatdao Nuekjang contributed 10 points each in the Thai triumph.

Thailand lost to hosts China 3-0 in the semi-finals while Vietnam were beaten by Japan 3-1 on Friday.

Thailand were silver medallists at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, losing to China 3-0 in the final.

They took bronze in South Korea in 2014 for their breakthrough medal in the sport at the Asian Games.

Victories for India

India were crowned the Asian Games men's cricket champions on their first attempt and without needing to bat on Saturday in an anti-climatic finish, consigning Afghanistan to a third consecutive silver.

India were declared winners of the final under an Asian Games-specific rule where the higher-ranked team takes the honours if the match cannot be finished, in this case due to rain.

Afghanistan made 112-5 under the floodlights in Hangzhou before the wet weather arrived after 18.2 overs.

With conditions not improving, the final was abandoned.

The men's kabaddi final between India and Iran at the Asian Games descended into chaos and was suspended for about an hour over a disputed decision, before India finally sealed the title.

India were seeking to reclaim the crown from Iran in a sport they regard as their own, and they did so in the most contentious circumstances.

The final was locked at 28-28 in the dying moments when India went on a crucial "raid" for points, with both teams claiming they should get the decision.

That sparked a video review, then stand-off and the suspension of the final, as officials checked footage and attempted to make a ruling.

The action was put on hold as both teams at different points appeared to refuse to play and argued their case.

Order was eventually restored with the score at 31-29 in India's favour.

Iran reluctantly carried on but they were deflated and soon slumped to a 33-29 defeat, sparking wild Indian celebrations.

In badminton, Li Shifeng beat fellow Chinese player Shi Yuqi to win the men's badminton title while India clinched their first ever Asiad gold in the sport.

Li defeated former world silver medallist Shi 23-21, 21-13 and celebrated by ripping off his shirt and performing a backflip.

The teammates were neck-and-neck throughout the first game before Li pulled away in the second.

In the men's doubles final, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy made badminton history for India.

The Indian pair defeated South Korea's Choi Sol-Gyu and Kim Won-Ho 21-18, 21-16.

In the mixed doubles final, China's Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong defeated Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino of Japan 21-15, 21-14 in 47 minutes.

"This match was stressful for me, but the crowd kept supporting us and gave us a lot of strength," Huang said afterwards. bangkok post/afp

Settling for third: Thailand players and staff celebrate after defeating Vietnam in the women's volleyball bronze medal match. Reuters

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