Vietnam out to end Thailand's women volleyball run

Vietnam out to end Thailand's women volleyball run
Thailand's volleyball players react after gaining a point against Indonesia during their volleyball women's semifinals at the 28th Southeast Asian Games.

History has repeated itself once again in the SEA Games women's volleyball competition.

For the eighth successive Games, Thailand will battle Vietnam for the gold medal and a big crowd is expected at the OCBC Arena today.

Yesterday's semi-finals saw the Thais take on Indonesia, while Vietnam faced hosts Singapore.

Thailand's clash against the Indonesians was a particularly fierce one, with both sides keen to stamp their authority on the match.

The Indonesians claimed a tense and close first set 25-21, but the defending champions bounced back from the shock of their opening-set loss to win 25-13, 25-23, 25-13 in the next three sets and storm into the final.

HAPPY

"I'm very happy with the team, they played extremely well and I think we deserved to be in the final," said Thai coach, Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai.

One suspects arch-rivals Vietnam will provide even stiffer competition today.

Singapore - who were powerless against Vietnam, going down 25-17, 25-12, 25-14 - were happy with their bronze- medal finish.

"Vietnam were always the favourites. It was their match to lose, not ours," said Singapore captain Quek Soo Teng.

"We went into today's game just wanting to give our all and put up a good enough fight, which we did, especially in the first set," .

Vietnam have played second fiddle to their Thai counterparts for the last seven editions of the SEA Games.

But the Thais have not lost a match since the 2007 Games and are deadly keen on keeping that record intact.

"I hope the girls will play as well as they have today. If they give their best, we will be fine," said Radchatagriengkai.

aschoon@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 15, 2015.
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