Thailand relinquish Asian volleyball title

PHUKET: Thailand’s hopes of retaining the Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship crown were dashed in Taiwan last week losing to Japan at the semi-final stage.

The reigning champions went down 25-13, 20-25, 25-18, 23-25, 15-13 to the world number four team, who exacted vengeance for their defeat by Thailand at the same stage last year.

Despite the loss, an automatic World Cup place still beckoned for the Thai team if they won their third-place playoff game against Korea.

However, disappointment at losing the title and a hectic tournament schedule conspired to inflict another five-set defeat 25-22, 24-26, 25-23, 25-27,15-13.

Head coach Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai did not pull any punches with his post match remarks saying the players lost their concentration and failed to perform under pressure.

Having played the Latin Cup in Peru last June, the Thailand team then traveled to the Asian Women’s Club Championship in Vietnam in July, then moved onto the three-week World Grand Prix in August which ended in Macau, and just recently the nine-day Asian meet in Taiwan.

The squad is due to leave again for the FIVB World Women’s Club Championship in Doha, Qatar, being held from October 8 to 14.

Several top Thai players will be in attendance for the FIVB Swatch Beach Volleyball World Tour on Karon Beach in Phuket from November 1 to 6, before leaving for the SEA Games in Indonesia from November 11 to 22.

— Neil Quail

Phuket News

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