Thai players pose with the trophy after winning the Asian crown for the first time
September 13, 2009 — Devastating Thailand brought the curtain down on the 15th
Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship with a bang by overpowering
11-time champions and FIVB World No. 3 China in a dramatic four sets on Sunday.
World No. 17 Thailand
dazzled China and a large crowd of boisterous supporters in the Quan Ngua
Competition Hall with a gutsy display and a strong will to win.
come-from-behind 20-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-23 victory over the well-established
Chinese team, which last month claimed fifth place at the World Grand Prix in
Tokyo, ended Thailand’s gold-medal drought at the biennial competition.
never beaten China before. This year, Thailand lost to their formidable rivals twice:
a straight-sets loss in the World Championship third round in Chengdu, China in
July and again at the last month’s World Grand Prix preliminaries in Macau.
their debut in this tournament in its 4th edition in Shanghai in
1987. There, they finished fifth. Since then, their performances were a series
of ups and downs. Their best efforts came in 2001 and 2007 on home soil when
they finished third.
scintillating win over the bronze medalists at last year’s Beijing Olympic
Games has earned Thailand another berth to play in a world-class competition as
they are now guaranteed a ticket in next year’s World Grand Prix.
also represent Asia as the continental champions and test their mettle at the World
Grand Champions Cup this November in Japan.
everyone’s expectation. I never thought before that we could come this far. To
win a semifinal berth in the Asian Championship was already a dream come true
for us. Now we have another sweet dream – to win the Asian crown for the first
time ever,” said Thai head coach Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai.
third-place playoff, defending and three-time champions Japan powered past
Korea for the fourth time in a row in just 35 days. World No. 7 Japan beat Korea
twice in the World Grand Prix preliminaries and twice at this tournament,
including Sunday’s 25-16, 25-15, 25-18 cakewalk.
play-off: Indonesia beat Sri Lanka 3-1 (25-17, 22-25, 25-17, 25-18)