SEA Games: Seven heaven as Thai athletes run away with it

Wallapa Punsoongneun (L) and Jamras Rittidet (R) of Thailand celebrate after winning their respective women's 100m hurdles final and men's 110m hurdles final athletics event respectively.

SINGAPORE - Thailand swept seven golds on the final day of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games athletics competition to move to the top of the overall medals tally on Friday.

Thai runners sprinted to a men's and women's 4x100m relay double as they made an emphatic finish to the track and field events at Singapore's National Stadium.

Sunisa Khotseemueang also played a starring role by winning all seven events of the heptathlon as Thailand finished top in the athletics with 17 gold medals overall.

Earlier Kunanon Sukkaew outsprinted Vietnam's Quach Cong Lich on the back straight to win a thrilling men's 400m in a Games record 46.00sec.

"I didn't expect it. I expected it to be in the one, two or three position but not the gold medal. I got the gold medal and I am very proud," Kunanon said in Thai after the race.

Subenrat Insaeng hurled a new SEA Games mark of 59.56 in the women's discus and Thailand also won the women's high jump and the men's long jump.

Among other winners, Indonesia's Rini Budiarti survived a tumble in the water jump as she took out the women's 3,000m steeplechase with room to spare.

Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Huen also grabbed her third gold medal when she added a women's 400m title to her wins in the 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay.

"I'm really happy. I find it hard to describe my feelings right now. Since this is also the first SEA GAMES that I earn a gold medal, honestly I choke up at the fact that I have got three gold medals," she said.

Late on Friday, with four days of competition remaining, Thailand were on top of the SEA Games medals table with 71 golds, one ahead of Singapore who had led since the start.