By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
It was an impressive rebound for the 13-time champions, who proceeded through the opening week with a mere 18 gold medals, nowhere the target of 120 golds.
But the tide did eventually turn as the Kingdom moved past Malaysia and Singapore in the medal tally with a haul of 41 golds to land in fourth place. With three more days to go, host the Philippines, who have won 89 golds overall, remain in the lead and are the heavy favourites to win the 30th edition while Indonesia, with 50 golds, and Vietnam with 46, come in second and third.
The sailing team proved the most productive on Saturday, earning five medals from men’s and women’s optimist, men’s and women’s international and laser radial.
Four golds were captured in athletics: women’s triple jump, men’s hammer throw, men’s 1,000m and men’s 200m.
Thai breaststroke king Nuttapong Ketin won his fifth Games gold medal after touching the pool first in the men’s 200m category. He also won this event in 2009, 2001, 2013 and 2017.
Thai women's table tennis medallists.
In table tennis, Suthasini Sawettabut and Orawan Paranang won the first women’s doubles gold medal for Thailand in 34 years in an all-Thai affair opposite Nanthana Kamwong and Jinnipa Sawettabut.
In rhythmic gymnastics, Benjaporn Limpanich put an end to the long eight-year drought of gold medals for Thailand after reigning supreme in the clubs competition.
The other six gold medals came from traditional boat race - 22-seaters 200m, men’s judo team, women’s taekwondo poomsae team, men’s cycling time trial team, men’s shooting air pistol and men’s Asean chess.