THAILAND STUN KOREA TO WIN “4TH” BRONZE AT ASIAN WOMEN’S U17 CHAMPIONSHIP
Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, May 27, 2018 – Thailand restored their pride after stunning Korea in four sets to claim bronze medal on the final day of the 12th Asian Women’s U17 Volleyball Championship at the Nakhon Pathom Municipality Gymnasium.
The dramatic 25-19 25-17 8-25 25-16 win on Sunday handed Thailand the “fourth” bronze medal in this championship. The Thai girls took their first bronze on home soil in 2003 in Si Sa Ket, followed by the 2008 Manila edition in the Philippines. Their third bronze medal came in 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Both sides have never won the Asian title. Korea’s best-effort silver medal came in 1997, 2005 and 2007, while Thailand took the lone silver on home soil in 2014 when they went down 1-3 to Japan in Nakhon Ratchasima.
In the first set, Thailand, which captured the “Princess Cup” 20th South East Asian Women’s U17 Championship at the same competition venue here, got off to a great start to lead 6-0, thanks to their excellent combination plays and scintillating blocking. Korea changed their tactics to come up with effective mid-court drops, while Park Suyeon and Park Eunseo attacked fiercely. As the host side were leading 24-19, Saowapa Soosuk hit a powerful spike to end the visitors’ challenge in the first set. Thailand took the thrilling set 25-19.
The rhythm was still with Thailand in the second set when they led from start to finish. Despite putting up a fightback, the Koreans found Thailand uncatchable as the host girls went on their fine form to win the set 25-17.
The third set turned out to be a different script as Korea made a mighty comeback to lead by wide margin 13-0. Thailand regrouped to revive their fortunes and successfully broke the deadlock shortly after that when Pimtawan Thongyos attacked devastatingly from the mid-court. However, the Koreans proved they had come too far to lose and they rolled on their excellence to win the totally lop-sided set 25-8.
With drum-beating home fans cheering them all the way, the Thai girls led from the start 12-10 and stretched it to 20-15. The Koreans regained their composure to fight back, but their attempts were in vain as Thailand made their mark to capture the set 25-16, match and the third place.
Pimtawan Thongyos led Thailand with 12 points, all from attack hits, while Waranya Srilaoong and Wirunyupa Inchan contributed 11 and 10 points respectively. Seo Chaewon topscored Korea with 10 points.
“My players played according to plan and they controlled the game well to win the first two sets, but Korea changed their tactics in the third set, which we could not thoroughly read their plan. My girls lost almost 20 points from poor reception and mistaken serves in the third set. In the fourth set, my girls played relaxed, while the Koreans became more prone with unforced mistakes,” Thailand coach Chamnan Dokmai commented.
“We are happy that our girls finished third place in this championship, which has fulfilled our initial target of winning among top three. Around 4-5 players in this U17 team will join the Thailand squad for the next month’s Asian Women’s U19 Championship in Vietnam. Our chances cannot be that high there because only top two teams will make the cut for the world meet, but I hope they will try their best.”
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