Unseeded Thai triumphs, but sportsmanship takes a dive in Asian Games tennis showdown

Image courtesy imgacademy on flickr.

A recent Asian Games tennis match delivered an enthralling contest between an unheralded Thai player and a highly-ranked South Korean opponent but ultimately concluded with a display of poor sportsmanship.

Thai tennis player, Boom Kasidit, emerged as the surprising victor, causing an upset given that Kwon Soon-woo is 112th in the world and was favourite for overall victory. The 25 year old’s response to his defeat, which involved violently smashing his racket onto the ground and refusing to extend a handshake to his 22 year old Thai counterpart, ignited a global debate.

Kwon is currently 112th in the world rankings, although at one point in his career, he achieved a remarkable high of 52nd and secured ten professional titles. This made him a top contender in this year’s Asian Games.

Speculation suggests that Kwon’s unsportsmanlike conduct might be attributed to his pending mandatory military service, which he can defer until the age of 28. Winning a gold medal in the Asian Games would have exempted him from this obligation.

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Clearly underestimating his Thai opponent, Boom, who is globally ranked at 636th, Kwon faced a considerable gap in their rankings. Despite being the underdog, Boom put up a fierce fight, clinching the first set before narrowly losing the second.

In the third set, Boom held a commanding 5-0 lead but encountered difficulties in closing the game, allowing Kwon to mount a comeback by winning four consecutive games. Nevertheless, Boom managed to serve out the set and secure a 2-1 victory with set scores of 6-3, 5-7, and 6-4, after an intense battle lasting two hours and 42 minutes.

Apart from his sporting achievements, Kwon is also recognized for his romantic relationship with Yubin, a former member of the popular band Wonder Girls, who is nine years his senior. This relationship garnered significant attention in South Korea back in May. It is a shame he is in the news for being a bad loser and sportsman.

The Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, kicked off with a dazzling display that left spectators in awe. After a year-long delay, the host nation pulled out all the stops to showcase its rich culture and technological prowess. Read more about the story HERE.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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