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Thai boxers suffer extinction in men's events at Rio Games

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Thailand’s boxing team endured disastrous campaign at Rio Games after light welterweight Wuttichai Masuk and bantamweight Chatchai Butdee were both dumped out of the last-16 on Sunday to ensure the extinction of the country’ fighters in the men’s events.

Wuttichai and Chatchai were the last two of four Thai fighters in the men’s competition but the duo agonisingly fell victim to a split decision in the last-16 round.  

Sitting at the top of the world’s rankings in the 64kg class, the 26-year-old Wuttichai was the country’s best medal hopeful but his campaign was cut short in his first bout at the Games after receiving a bye in the preliminary round.    

Up against American fighter Gary Russell, Wuttichai’s punches appeared to hit the target more than his rival but the 26-year-old was unable to avoid the same fate that befell to his other team mates, going down to a split decision.       

Earlier on the day, experienced bantamweight Chatchai suffered back-to-back last-16 Olympic defeat following his loss to Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin.

The loss left a bitter taste in the Thai’s mouth as it seemed the Thai, whose southpaw stance caused the Russian lot of problems, looked slightly better in the tight bout. However, two judges scored a win for Nikitin, while the other ruled it in favour of the Thai.     

The result meant the 31-year-old Chatchai failed to move beyond the last-16 round at the Games as the two-time SEA Games champion was also sent packing at the same stage in London four years ago.

With the extinction of Thai fighters in the men’s events, the country’s hopes of Olympic glory in the sport now rest on Peamwilai Laopeam, the first female fighter from the Kingdom to qualify for the Games, in the women’s flyweight class.    

Published : August 14, 2016

By : The Nation