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Americans cash in on Phuket volleyball win

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Americans cash in on Phuket volleyball win | The Thaiger

KARON, PHUKET: With a masterful performance, the American pair of Jen Kessy and April Ross captured their second-straight Phuket Thailand Open title on Karon Beach yesterday, walking off the sand with the winners’ check of US$30,000.

The top-seeded Kessy and Ross finished their four days of competition by downing compatriots Angie Akers and Tyra Turner with clinical precision in the 37-minute final, 21-12 and 21-17.

Playing with the poise of true champions, it was all business for Kessy and Ross.

The match was the seventh FIVB meeting between the two teams and Kessy and Ross have finished on the winning side each time.

Yesterday’s championship match also marked the third-straight all-American finale for the Phuket Thailand Open.

It was the sixth SWATCH FIVB World Tour gold medal for Kessy and Ross since forming their partnership in 2007.

Ms Akers was competing in her first-ever gold medal match. She and Turner split the US$21,000 second-place prize.

Turner was competing in her second Phuket Thailand Open title match. Ms Turner also appeared in last year’s final with Nicole Branagh, losing to Kessy and Ross 18-21, 21-14 and 15-12 in 63 minutes.

In the bronze medal match, 22nd-seeded Maria Bratkova and Evgenia Ukolova secured Russia’s first-ever women’s podium finish, much to the delight of a large contingent of Russian supporters who turned out for the match.

Riding the wave of support, the pair struggled back from one set down to win 15-21, 22-20 and 15-9 win in 53 minutes over 17th-seeded Lauren Fendrick and Ashley Ivy of the United States.

The win denied the Americans what would have been their third podium sweep in the 18-year history of the international beach volleyball circuit.

Bratkova and Ukolova were crowded by autograph seekers after the exciting win.

But the undisputed star of the tournament was Ms Ross, who was awarded the tournament MVP prize.

Her powerful, laser-like serves put Akers and Turner on the back foot as they did the five pairs that fell before them.

After a great deal of passion in the third place final, the final came off more like an exhibition, as there was no national partisanship in the all-American encounter.

Among the VIPs in attendance were Permanent Secretary for Interior and Former Phuket Governor Pongpayome Vasaputi, current Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop and his wife Taiseka, Phuket Provincial Administration Organization President Paiboon Ubatising, Kata Group Director and sport tourism pioneer Eam Thavornwongwongse, event organizer Geoffrey Rowe of Pentangle Promotions and Karon Mayor Tawee Tongcham.

Karon Deputy Mayor Sompong Darbpeth said after the match that he was very happy with the all of the organizational elements of the event, though he was a little disappointed with the crowd turnout.

The stadium was only about 75% full for the free-admission final match. About half of the crowd was made up of foreigners.

Asked whether the stadium construction harmed the large sand dunes that largely spared Karon from the 2004 tsunami disaster, Mr Sompong said the improvements had been carefully carried out with respect to the environment.

No concrete or permanent structures were involved and the dunes face more damage from erosion from heavy monsoon-season surf, he said.

This year’s tournament was the largest on the 16-stop SWATCH FIVB tour, with 66 teams from 28 countries taking part.

— Stephen Fein & WATCH FIVB



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Phuket

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest

The Thaiger

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Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Department of National Parks

Officers from of the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area have helped in the release of a slow loris back into the wild yesterday.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation reports that the head of Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area, Pongchart Chueahom, yesterday released the slow loris to the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Are in Thalang.

The slow loris was found near a furniture factory in Thalang last week. It was being treated at a pet hospital before being handed over to Khun Pongchart when it was ready to be set free.

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy

The Thaiger

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Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy | The Thaiger

A floating seastead has today been towed by a naval vessel back to the Port of Phuket in Cape Panwa. Meanwhile the Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam is challenging the owners and builders of the structure to take the Thai Government and Navy to the International Court of Justice.

The Royal Thai Navy’s Third Fleet ventured out with a group of reporters on Saturday to inspect the floating seastead, the first of about 20 planned Ocean Builders for the open waters about 22km from Phuket’s Koh Racha Yai.

Nothing valuable was found on board the octagon-shaped steel and aluminium structure which was attached to a floating platform.

Two vessels were used in today’s operation. The living quarters were detached and placed on the first vessel and the second towed the floating platform to the shore for safe keeping pending legal action against its owner as well as the builder, Ocean Builders Company.

Dr. Wissanu said yesterday that Thai authorities were authorised to remove or dismantle the floating housing unit with or without the consent of its owner after finding the structure could pose a threat to Thai national security and sovereignty in accordance with Article 119 of the Criminal Code.

He said that the structure also posed an obstacle to vessels and was located not far from an oil rig.

Regarding the threat by Ocean Builders Company to sue the Thai government in the International Court of Justice for the removal, the deputy PM says he welcomes the move, noting that no government anywhere would allow a seastead settlement near their maritime territory.

Seasteader Chad Andrew Edwartowski and his Thai wife, Mrs. Nadia Summergirl, are wanted by the Thai police for questioning after Thai immigration revoked the American’s non-immigrant visa and blacklisted him.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Phuket

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung

The Thaiger

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Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phattalung Rescue

Two people have sustained serious injuries after a Phuket taxi slammed into a tree in Phattalung last night.

Phattalung rescue workers were notified of the accident in Mueang Pattalung District at 7.57pm last night (Sunday).

They arrived at the scene to find the Phuket registered taxi resting in front of the big tree on the side of the road near a temple. The front of the vehicle had extensive damage following the collision.

The two people who sustained serious injuries were 58 year old Wanchai Srithong and 64 year old Jamras Srithong. They were both taken to the Phattalung Hospital.

Pattalung City Police are continuing their investigation. There has been no explanation given at this stage as to why a Phuket taxi was in Phattalung.

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger

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