Thailand's champions (L to R)
Wattanachai Songtung, Kiatkong
Thanong and substitute Anapong
Sukarom secured the Triple Open
category at the 7th Pan Pacific
Petanque Championship. Picture:
BT/Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
Thailand swept the 7th Pan Pacific Petanque Championship after their Triple Open category team emerged as champions of the event at the Petanque Pitch of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas yesterday.
Thailand, who won the other category offered in the competition (Shooting Open event) on Saturday when Phantipha Wongchuvej defeated Nguyen Xuan Loc of Vietnam 45-36, bagged another gold when Thanakorn Singkaew, Wattanachai Songtung and Kiatkong Thanong made easy work of Vietnam's Vu Khang Duy, Cao Phu Tinh and Cao Chi Dung in the final, where they beat them 13-2.
"I feel very happy to beat Vietnam in the final (as) they are always our biggest challengers in every petanque competition," said team captain Kiatkong in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
"The Vietnam team are good, but we are better. I think we controlled the game and it was quite an easy win," added the captain.
Brunei also made it to the top of the podium when the trio of Hamidon Hj Hamid, Junaidi Ali and Hj Yussof Mohammad shared third with Indonesia after reaching the semi-final of the Triple Open category.
Hamidon, Junaidi and Hj Yussof defeated compatriots Awg Abdul Wahab Salihin Hj Besar, Marhalim Hj Juni and Azmi Eddy Mohd Harris 13-5 in the quarter-final before losing to eventual silver-medalists Vietnam 13-6 in the semi-final. They also defeated a team from New Zealand 13-0 and a team from Singapore 13-6 in the qualifying rounds.
"I am very proud of my teammates," said Hamidon. "We worked very hard for this and we are very thankful that we managed to at least win a bronze medal.
"As we all know, this is not an easy tournament to compete in because there are a lot of good, experienced and world-class players here.
"I would like to thank national coach Somsak Juychunprasert for his help. I really think that the two-month intensive training we had helped ready us for this tournament.
"We lost in the semi-final to Vietnam, but .... We gave our best, and I think we made it difficult for them during the game.
"The Vietnam team have been playing petanque for 10 to 20 years but we only started a few years ago, so I believe that we will get better in time," he added.
Meanwhile, Brunei's favourite team in the tournament, which comprised of national team captain Mazlan Hj Yahya, Mohd Abdillah Tamin and Wirna Hj Mohd Yassin, only managed to reach the last-eight after losing 13-3 to eventual champions Thailand.
The teams which did not make it to the top eight of the Pan Pacific Petanque Championship were relegated to the Nation Cup.
Malaysia's Zani Lisa Mohamed, Shari Hassan and Syed Ali Syed Akil emerged as winners in the competition after defeating Brunei's Pg Hj Asmalina Pg Hj Jaya, Hj Mat Rasil Hj Ahmad and Masli Mohd Said 13-2 in the final, while, Indonesia and Singapore shared the third spot.
Ten teams took part in the annual competition.
Joining hosts Brunei in the tournament were Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam.