Thailand Boxing Association president Pichai Chunhavajira grinned from ear to ear after Thai boxers returned home yesterday with an outstanding haul of seven gold medals, two silvers and a bronze from the 27th SEA Games in Myanmar.
Remarkably, all 10 fighters that the country fielded returned with a medal. Thailand’s male boxers once again underlined their supremacy by winning five gold medals from the six weight classes that featured Thai fighters in the finals. Hard-hitting Apichet Saenset was the standout performer, scoring a hat-trick of technical knockouts to bring home the gold medal in the 69kg class.
The only Thai to miss out on a gold medal in the men’s competition was Donchai Thathi, who went down to Filipino fighter Mario Fernandez in the 56kg division by a unanimous decision.
In the women’s competition, the Thais clinched two out of three weight classes in which they featured in the finals.
Sopida Satumrum and Peamwilai Laopeam both tasted glory in the event for the third time in the 51kg and 54kg categories respectively. Sudaporan Seesondee had to settle for a silver in the 60kg class.
The Thai boxers’ gold-medal-winning exploits at Wunna Theikdi Sport Complex in Nay Pyi Taw left Pichai, who flew in to support the fighters, purring. “Taking seven gold medals was something that exceeded our expectations. We were expecting six golds.”
Pichai promised to send the fighters to fight abroad more often after many of the boxers complained that they lack international exposure.
“We’ll try to find at least two events for our boxers in the build-up to next year’s Asian Games in South Korea. We’ll have a discussion with our coaching staff to try to find a way to correct the mistakes,” he said.