Seoul, Korea, August 24, 2019 – In-form Thailand overpowered China with terrific comeback win in a hard-fought four-set thriller of the 20th Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship at the Jamsil Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
The dramatic 3-1 (23-25 25-22 34-32 25-23) win in the Saturday’s semi-finals has put Thailand in a final showdown in this topflight championship, which they are due to challenge Japan, the team they went down 2-3 in the final clash of the 2017 edition in the Philippines. However, this time, Japan were represented by their U20 squad which last month captured the FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship in Mexico.
Talented Chatchu-On Moksri scored a match-high 28 points for Thailand including 26 attacks from 55 attempts, while veteran Onuma Sittirak kept good company to contribute 23 points including 22 attacks. Yang Hanyu led China with 19 points including a team-leading 9 blocks and 2 aces.
Despite Thailand’s preserving defense and smart offensive plays in the opening set, China’s strong attacks and high blocking abilities were not easy to overcome. Both teams gave their best to win the first set, but China played better to take the closely-contested battle 25-23.
Going down one set, Thailand put their acts together in the second set. Talented Chatchu-On and Onuma came up with strong consistent attacks to help the team win the set 25-22.
China captured the lead from the very beginning of the third set, but Thailand caught them up at 17-17 and advanced 19-17. With veteran setter Nootsara Tomkom in awesome form with her exceptional skills, Thailand made their mark again. The on-going game was closely-contested, with leads changing hands many times, making it one of the most thrilling sets in the eight-day championship. Thailand rallied to win the incredible, close battle 34-32.
Thailand continued their remarkable run with excellent teamwork and combination attacks. With their fans cheering all the way, Thailand started to produce the goods, with Chatchu-On, Onuma and Malika Kanthong overcoming the taller blockers with their mighty attacks. China also launched waves of attacks through Liu Yanhan’s powerful spikes and Yang Hanoi’s solid blocks. At 23-23, both teams poured everything to win the set, but Thailand fared better to score both points for the eventual 25-23 win in the fourth set, match and the final showdown.
After the match, Thailand team captain Nootsara Tomkom said, “I have to thank my team-mates and staff coaches. We fought until the very end and so I am very proud of my team for today’s win. The younger players in my team lost confidence in the beginning because of some mistakes they made, so as I encouraged them we started working more together and that made me more energetic as well.”
Chatchu-On Moksri, the top scorer of Thailand, said, “First of all, I am really thankful I get to play with Nootsara because even though our reception was unstable at times, she set the ball up perfectly for me allowing a great chance of attacking every time. It’s an honour to play with her.”
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