HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

‘Tigers’ retain grip on top spot

Thailand strikes gold on final day of takraw championships

15-year-old girl to represent Thailand in Youth Olympics windsurfing

‘Tigers’ retain grip on top spot

The Chiang Mai faithful cheer on the ‘Tigers’ to their ninth successive league win.

Staff Reporters

League leaders Chiang Mai FC hosted sixth placed Nakhon Sawan at the 700 Year Anniversary Stadium on Sunday, August 1 with the home team looking to extend their eight match winning streak that has seen them pull clear at the top of the Northern League Division 2 standings.

Chiang Mai had to make two changes from their usual starting line-up as midfielder Warut Sapso was suspended for the game after picking up one too many yellow cards, and they were also unable to field their influential winger Anucha Chaiyawong through injury. After being in such scintillating form of late, Anucha’s presence in the forward line would be sorely missed.

Chiang Mai FC forward Benjamin (24) celebrates with teammate Sarun Sridech (23) after the two combined to open the scoring against Nakhon Sawan FC at the 700 Year Anniversary Stadium in Chiang Mai, Sunday, August 1.

Despite being under strength, the hosts quickly found their passing rhythm from the kick-off and both Vincent and Wasuwat came close to opening the scoring, but their efforts flew just wide of the Nakhon Sawan goal.

Eventually the pressure from the home team told however, and Ghanaian forward Benjamin Musa was able to break the deadlock in the 28th minute, heading home a cross from the impressive Sarun Sridech.

It looked like the ‘Tigers’ might have to settle for just the one goal lead at half time but in the dying seconds of the first period they scored again when Chanutpol got on the end of a corner kick to steer the ball home and double the host’s advantage at the break.

The second half proved to be a much sterner test for the ‘Tigers’ as Nakhon Sawan threw everything at them in an effort to get back into the game, and the visitors were rewarded for their enterprising play with a goal in the 65th minute from substitute Watchara Rojanakritayakorn. Sathit Pormsema curled a free kick over the Chiang Mai defensive wall and ‘Tigers’ keeper Phansa could only palm the ball back across goal where Rojanakritayakorn was waiting to pounce and reduce the deficit to just one.

The visitors then proceeded to pile on the pressure as they went searching for an equalizer and it looked as if their efforts might have been rewarded in the final minute of the game when Rojanakritayakorn turned the ball into the Chiang Mai net, however the linesman had flagged for an offside in the build up and the ‘goal’ was disallowed.

It was a close call for Chiang Mai but they were able to hold on for their ninth successive league win which leaves them still four points clear of Chainart at the top of the league standings.

The Tigers were due to play away at Phitsanulok FC last Saturday, August 7, and will be away again this coming Saturday at Chainart FC for what could be a potential title decider.

Thailand strikes gold on final day of takraw championships

The Thailand sepak takraw players pose with their medals and trophies following the conclusion of the 25th King’s Cup Takraw World Championships, Sunday, August 1 in Chiang Mai.

Jedsadapong Wongkiew

Thailand dominated the final day of the King’s Cup Takraw World Championships held in Chiang Mai from July 27 - Aug. 1, taking first place in both the men’s and women’s team events.

The Thai men’s A team of Kriengkrai Kaewmian (centre back), Patarapong Yupdee (front left), and Anuwat Chaichana (front right) defeated a strong South Korean line-up in the final match by a score of two sets to nil (21-16, 21-18) to take the title and the prestigious King’s Cup trophy.

The Koreans had earlier knocked out the second seeded Malaysian team on the way to the championship game but they proved to be no match for the Thais playing on home soil and cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd at the 700 Year Anniversary Stadium indoor arena.

The Thailand men’s B squad of Siriwat Sakha, Pornchai Kaokaew and Surioyan Pecharn, then followed up their peers success with a victory over the South Korean B team, also in two sets (2-17, 21-12).

Not content with the two golds on the day, the home team secured further triumphs in the women’s categories with both the A and B squads claiming victory over the two Vietnamese teams by scores of 21-15, 14-21, (15-10) and 21-17, 21-14 respectively.

It was sweet success for the hosts after earlier seeing Malaysia and Vietnam take the honours in the individual men’s and women’s events.

The six-day tournament attracted a total of 23 nations to take part with teams fighting for medals in eight separate categories.

On the final day of competition, Sunday, August 1, privy councilor Arthaniti Dith-amnart was in attendance to represent His Majesty the King and award the medals and trophies to all the successful athletes.

15-year-old girl to represent Thailand in Youth Olympics windsurfing

Tanachot Anuwan

Hoping to upgrade her Asian Youth Games gold medal into Olympics gold, 15-year-old Siriporn Kaewduang-Ngam will be Thailand’s sole windsurfing representative at this month’s Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

Siriporn Kaewduang-Ngam, the sole windsurfing representative from Thailand to compete at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games this month, shows her championship winning form on the water.

Pattana Bunsawat, head coach and advisor to the Windsurfing Association of Thailand, announced the teenagers Olympic bid July 26 in the Techno 293 competition, which kicks off Aug. 17 at Singapore’s National Sailing Center.

Siriporn is said to be excited to join the Olympic meet, although she is largely preparing on her own, as she will be only part of the larger Yacht Racing Association of Thailand contingent at the games. Windsurfing is bundled in with sailing events.

As a result, she’s had precious little time with Coach Pattana, who also must oversee the sailors. Former windsurfing champs are pitching in to help, but if she’s going to medal in Singapore, the burden rests on her to prepare.

Siriporn has proved to be a Thai windsurfing prodigy, winning medals before she even hit her teens. Most recently, at the Thailand Windsurfing Championships, she won again in the Techno 293 category.