ASIAD sepak takraw - Duo star for third gold

Vietnamese duo Luu Thi Thanh and Nguyen Hai Thao stared to beat Myanmar opponents 2-0 in the women’s double gold medal match, winning the third gold medal for Vietnam at the 15th Asian Games in Doha, Qatar.

The Vietnamese pair won 21-16 in two straight sets after just 44 minutes. Earlier, they survived semi-finals scares as they were made to sweat by Japan in the semi-finals to gain a 2-1 victory.

After knocking out Thailand in the group stage, Vietnam emerged as top favourites for the gold medal of the event.  

Therefore, the Vietnamese pair started the game with self-confidence. After going 2-0 down in the first set, Luu Thi Thanh and Hai Thao gained three points in a row to go ahead for the first time. The two sides continued to fight for each point until the score was 7-6 in favour of Vietnam, Luu Thi Thanh and Hai Thao won four points in a row to extend their lead to 11-6 before ending with a 21-16 in the first set.   

Myanmar’s Thin Kyu Kyu and Phyo May Zin, who edged out China in a close fought semi-final game, caused some troubles to the Vietnamese side in the second set as they raced neck-and-neck with the Vietnamese pair to 12-12 before Hai Thao produced a series of stunning spikes to help Vietnam take a 16-12 lead. The Myanmar side pulled back two points, but a stunning finish by Luu Thi Thanh restored a three point lead for Vietnam. Just like the first set, the Vietnamese pair ended the final with 21-16 victory.

In the semi-finals, Luu Thi Thanh and Hai Thao made a poor start as they lost 21-19 to Chiharu Oku and Sawa Aoki from Japan. The Vietnamese pair started the second set stronger, but found it difficult to pull away from the Japanese pair. However, the much-improved Vietnamese took the set 21-18 and forcing the tiebreak, in which they edged out the challenges from the Japanese opponents to book a place in the final with Myanmar.

Vietnamese women’s sepak takraw team ended the 15th Asian Games in great triumph, winning two gold and o­ne silver medal. They even nearly gained a better result than a silver medal in the regu event, in which they lost 2-1 to Thailand despite being in a good position to win.

So far, Vietnam have won three gold, nine silver and seven bronze medals and are now 17th in the medal tally.  


Nhan Dan