Ju-jitsu stars bag first two golds
Thailand had a fine start to the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, claiming two gold medals in ju-jitsu a day before yesterday’s official opening ceremony of the quadrennial multi-sport event in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
Kunsatri Kumsroi and Suphawadee Kaeosrasaen beat Patma Hojiyewa and Jahan Durdyyewa of Turkmenistan 80-79 in the women’s duo classic final on Saturday night.
They also combined well in the women’s duo show to beat Dao Thi Nhu Quynh and Dao Le Thu Trang of Vietnam on a technicality after the two pairs carded identical 83 points.
Kunsatri took a silver medal in mixed duo classic with Ratcharat Yimprai after losing to Durdyyewa and Mekan Nurjikow 83.5-82.5 in the final.
In men’s duo show, Thammanun Pothaisong and Warut Netpong settled for silver, conceding the final by only half a point to Rafique Siddique and Nawaz Janjua of Pakistan.
Thailand also landed three bronze medals in the mixed duo show and men’s duo classic and -69kg contact events of the martial art discipline.
Meanwhile, Malaysia are hoping to challenge Thailand’s domination in Muaythai at the games.
Thailand and Malaysia won two gold medals each in the discipline at August’s SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur with the Thais narrowly topping the medal table by virtue of claiming three silvers to Malaysia’s one silver and a bronze.
Malaysia’s Mohd Ali Yaakub defeated Surachai Nakthaem to win gold in the 54kg category and his performance was backed up by Ain Kamarrudin’s shock win against world champion Thachtana Luangphon in the heavier 57kg class.
“I was very proud of this victory,” said Ain, who won the title despite having lost his father to cancer just weeks before. “I dedicated this gold medal to my late father, family and all Malaysians.”
Ali, who was making his SEA Games debut despite being aged 31, defeated Surachai 30-27 in their clash in the final.
“The team trained in Thailand for about a month before the SEA Games and the results augur well for the development of the sport in Malaysia,” said the country’s coach, Bernard Radin.
Ashgabat 2017, featuring 6,000 athletes and officials from 65 delegations, concludes on Sept 27.
Kunsatri Kumsroi, left, and Suphawadee Kaeosrasaen perform during the women’s duo classic at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.