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Thai's combine happy faces with fighting spirit

Thai girls never stop smiling and battling
Tokyo, Japan, November 16, 2013 – Thailand team are still looking for their first victory at the FIVB Women’s World Grand Champions Club and playing powerhouses USA and Russia in the last two days of the competition doesn’t present a good chance to snap the losing streak.

The lack of success, however, has not erased the happy faces of the Thai girls who play the game combining joy with fighting spirit, according to the coach Kiattipong Radchatagrienkai.

Radchatagriengkai commented on the particular characteristics of his team and in general of women’s Thai volleyball in a conversation with legendary former player Italian star Andrea Zorzi, who is covering the event in Nagoya and Tokyo for the FIVB YouTube channel, offering very interesting behind the scenes views and opinions.

“When our team play they are smiling but they are fighting and don’t give up,” Radchatagriengkai said. 

The Thai coach pointed out the fact that 90 per cent of their nationals are followers of Budha and they are quiet people with strong family values.

“Our fathers, our mothers teach us to smile and to be happy with everything you do,” he said. “We are a smile-land, if you go to Thailand everybody smile not only my volleyball team.”

The smile on their faces after losing a point is not a signal of weakness but a way of forgiving teammates for any mistake, he explained.

“I think it is good for my team, to be happy and enjoy playing,” he continued. “I think it is the characteristic of our players and our team. We enjoy playing strong teams like Brazil, USA, Japan any team of the top level and we smile to forgive the mistakes.”

Volleyball arrived in Thailand over 50 years ago and their first goal was to be the top women’s team in South East Asia, a region of ten countries.

“In 2001 we finished third in Asia and defeated Japan for the first time,” he recalled. “Then our next hunt was to be among the top four teams in Asia.”

The success of recent years has caused a big increase of the attention by the media and also from the fans.

“The media are showing our games and everywhere we go they follow us and they love to see my team because we are small, we are young we are pretty and we fight,” he said. “Everyone loves to see us, win or lose.”

Radchatagriengkai said women’s volleyball is now the second team sport in our country, second only to football.

“The fans are like a family to us, they love to watch us and are very proud of our team.”

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