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Thai weightlifter wins first gold at Rio Olympics

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Thai weightlifter wins first gold at Rio Olympics | The Thaiger
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THAILAND: Thailand’s national anthem was played at the Olympic Games for the first time in eight years yesterday after determined weightlifter Sopita Tanasan captured the first Rio Games gold and became the fourth women’s weightlifter from Thailand to win an Olympic gold.

The pint-sized lifter from Chumphon, 22, dominated the women’s 48kg event, lifting 92kg in the snatch and 108kg in the clean and jerk for an aggregate of 200kg, to land Thailand the first gold medal in the quadrennial sports extravaganza in Rio de Janeiro.

Ms Sopita, a regular weightlifter in the 53kg class – who finished fourth overall after lifting a combined 210kg at last year’s World Weightlifting Championships in Houston – took full advantage of the withdrawal of title-hotshot Hou Zhihui of China due to a knee injury before the games.

With only 12 weightlifters vying for the first Rio weightlifting gold at the Riocentro Pavilion 2, Ms Sopita lifted 88kg on her first attempt – the best in the round – and then bettered her mark twice to 90kg then 92kg.

She also easily succeeded – at 106kg – to take the lead in the clean and jerk. Her second lift for the increased 108kg was also successful, but she failed at 110kg on her final attempt.

Ms Sopita’s strongest challenger Vuong Thi Huyen of Vietnam – silver medalist at last year’s world meet – failed to advance past the snatch round after three unsuccessful attempts at 83kg and 84kg. That trimmed the field to 11 weightlifters vying for the medal, all chasing Sopita.

Indonesian Sri Wahyuni Agustiani twice tried to lift 115kg to overtake Sopita in a last-ditch bid to snatch the gold, but failed on the first attempt. Sopita celebrated by hugging her coaches in the weight room.

Sopita claimed gold with a total lift of 200kg, well off the existing world record of 217kg established by Chinese Yang Lian in 2006 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Chinese Xie Xia’s Olympic record of 212kg set at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Indonesian Sri Wahyuni Agustiani picked up the silver after lifting 192kg, while Japanese Hiromi Miyake had to be content with a bronze with a total lift of 188kg.

Ms Sopita, who dropped down from the 53kg class to make her Olympic debut in Rio and lifted 195kg to claim the gold at the IWF Junior World Championships in that class in 2014, was the fourth women’s weightlifter to earn Thailand an Olympic gold.

Udomporn Polsak and Pawina Thongsuk had earned Thailand the first two weightlifting gold medals in the women’s 53kg and women’s 75kg events at the 2004 Athens Games, while Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon captured the third gold in the women’s 53kg class at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Sopita’s gold, which is Thailand’s 8th gold in Olympic history, was a slap in the face for a US-based news agency which predicted the Thai athletes’ contingent would return from the 2016 Rio Games with six medals, but no gold.

However, Sopita defied all odds to win the Kingdom the first gold medal on the very first day at the Rio Games and especially, the very first gold medal at stake in the weightlifting competition.

The Thai athletes finished 57th overall at the 2012 Olympic Games in London after winning only two silver and two bronze medals. The national anthem of Thailand was played at the Olympic Games for the last time at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Ms Sopita sang along in tears to the Thai national anthem during the awards’ presentation as she ended Thailand’s eight-year Olympic gold-medal drought.

For winning the Olympic gold, Ms Sopita is assured of 10 million baht in cash incentives from the National Sports Development Fund. Millions of baht are additionally expected from generous sponsors and the private sector upon her arrival in Thailand.

With this gold from Ms Sopita, Thailand can now stand at 6th place at the medal standing.

— The Nation

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PM Prayut postponing Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues

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PM Prayut postponing Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues | The Thaiger

Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is postponing his inaugural Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine shipment. According to Khaosod English, the vaccine shipment was sent to Thailand last Wednesday from South Korea, but was missing the additional required paperwork.

Prayut was supposed to receive the vaccine tomorrow, but the highly‐publicised event will not be happening. According to Khaosod English, an official at the Secretariat of the Prime Minister has also confirmed the news of the postponement without citing a reason.

Although the Sinovac vaccine is also being administered in Thailand, healthcare officials say Prayut is too old to receive it as its age limit is 60. Prayut is 66 years old, which is well over the oldest age that can receive the vaccine.

The Sinovac vaccine drive is set to commence on Monday, 2 weeks behind schedule. Those frontline health workers, hospitality workers and vulnerable groups will receive the vaccines first.

Meanwhile, Phuket is waiting for the green lightto start administering vaccines and has already held a vaccine administration rehearsal overseen by Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong along with other health officials.

Pichet says the first vaccine round of 4,000 doses should arrive early in March, with the 2nd and 3rd set of doses, 16,000 and 48,000 respectively, to arrive in April and May.

The government pandemic center reported 72 new confirmed infections on Friday, after first only reporting 45 new cases. 37 of those cases were locally-transmitted, and one 6 year old Thai girl returning from the UK was found to have tested positive for the virus. Samut Sakhon, again, reported over half of the new cases yesterday, as it remains the epicentre of Thailand’s second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.

The total virus tally in Thailand sits at 25,764, with 83 fatalities. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has not yet announced the amount of new cases for today.

There is no word yet on when PM Prayut will be rescheduled to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26 | The Thaiger

Thailand News Today usually covers five days of the news week. This week only four days as today (Friday) is a public holiday. Now we have a weekend edition which goes over the biggest, or best stories, from the past week. Out every Saturday afternoon, catch up with Jett and Tim’s major Thai news stories. Welcome to the Thailand News Today Week in Review. Tim and Jett give you a quick recap of the main news stories.

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45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update

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45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update | The Thaiger

Thailand reports 45 new cases of Covid-19cases today, with 37 infections being locally-transmitted. 8 of those infections were imported, raising the total amount of infections since the pandemic began to 25,809.

The Department of Disease Control reports that 32 cases were confirmed at hospitals with 5 confirmed through active case finding in communities.

Samut Sakhon province, the 2nd wave epicentre, reported over half of the new cases at 19. 14 of those cases were confirmed at hospitals and 5 were detected in Myanmar communities. Bangkok has reported 3 new cases, Nakhon Nayok reported 5, Chai Nat 3, Nakhon Pathom 3, Saraburi 2, Prachuap Khiri Khan 1, and Samut Prakan 1.

45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update | News by The Thaiger

The 8 imported cases were those under quarantine arriving from Pakistan, Bangladesh, the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, and Kuwait. The case from the UK was that of a 6 year old Thai schoolgirl.

Globally, Covid-19 cases rose by 444,466 over the past day to 113.54 million. The worldwide death toll increased by 10,552 to 2.52 million. The United States still has the most cases at 29.5 million, with the most deaths at 520,785.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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