Medal ceremony for Thais at the Paralympic Games

PARALYMPICS: Wheelchair racers Pongsakorn Paeyo and Athiwat Paeng-Nuea achieved a gold double for Thailand at the Tokyo Paralympics yesterday (September 1).

Pongsakorn Paeyo poses with her gold medal in the 100m T53 on the podium. Photo: Bangkok Post

Boccia stars Watcharaphon Vongsa and Pornchok Larpyen took home silver medals while the men’s table tennis team also won bronze on the Thai contingent’s most successful day to date at Tokyo 2020 which ends Sunday.

Pongsakorn won his second COVID-delayed tournament title after winning the T53 100m wheelchair race with a new Paralympic record of 14.20, breaking his own Games record of 14.30 set earlier in the daytime.

The 24-year-old won silver at the Rio Games five years ago.

The Thai denied world record holder Brent Lakatos as the Canadian finished second in 14.55. Abdulrahman Alqurashi of Saudi Arabia won bronze in 14.76.

Pongsakorn defeated Lakatos to win Thailand’s first gold in the T53 400m event on Sunday.

He will get 14.4 million baht from the government for his two gold medals.

As part of the National Sport Development Fund bonus program for Paralympians, a champion will receive B 7.2 million, a silver winner B 4.8 million and a bronze medalist B 3 million.

Paralympic debutant Athiwat sealed a double in the sprint for Thailand, winning the T54 100m with a time of 13.76 at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.

The 18-year-old, who finished second in the 400m, edged Finland’s Leo Pekka Tahti, world record holder, who won silver in 13.85.

The bronze medal went to Mexican Juan Pablo Garcia Cervantes, who clocked a time of 13.87.

Tahti set the world and Paralympic records in the heat with a time of 13.63.

Pongsakorn will look for his third gold at the 2020 Games today as he defends his title in the T53 800m.

“I am up to the challenge,” he said.

“I will try to win another medal.”

In boccia, the gold medalist from Rio Watcharaphon lost 5-0 to Japan’s Hidetaka Sugimura in the individual BC2 gold medal match at the Ariake Gymnastics Center.

It was Japan’s first-ever Paralympic gold medal in the sport.

Worawut Saengumpa, another Thai boccia athlete, missed the podium after losing to Brazilian Maciel Santos 4-3 in the bronze medal match.

Pornchok, who competed in the individual BC4 event, lost to Slovakian Samuel Andrejcik 4-0 in the gold medal match. The 27-year-old won bronze in Rio.

In table tennis, the men’s team had to settle for a bronze medal in the Class 3 competition after losing 2-0 to China in the semi-finals at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

Anurak Laowong and Yuttajak Glinbancheun lost to Feng Panfeng and Zhai Xiang 1-3 (6-11, 17-15, 6-11, 10-12) in doubles.

Feng also got the better of Anurak in singles, beating the Thai athlete 3-0 (11-7, 16-14, 11-4).

Thailand are aiming for four to six gold medals in Tokyo.

The Kingdom won six gold, six silver and six bronze medals at Rio 2016.

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