NAYPYITAW: Thailand have broken three SEA Games records so far to stand on the verge of becoming the overall champions in athletics for an eighth consecutive time.
They have bagged 13 gold medals after four days of competition – and there is one more day left for the track and field events.
The Thais have set new Games records in the men’s hammer and javelin and women’s pole vault.
Tantipong Phetchaiya broke the hammer mark with a throw of 62.23m en route to winning the gold. His effort erased the previous record of 61.62m set by Arniel Ferrera of the Philippines in Vientiane in 2009.
Twenty-year-old Peerachet Jantra set the second Games record when he hurled the javelin to a distance of 76.30m – bettering the 75.38m mark set by Frans Mahuse of Indonesia in the 1987 Jakarta Games.
Thailand’s Sukanya Chomchuendee then cleared 4.21m to break the women’s pole vault Games record by one centimetre. She erased Malaysian Roslinda Samsu’s mark of 4.20m set in Palembang two years ago.
Thailand bagged 14 out of the 45 golds at stake in Palembang. They also broke the women’s discus record in 2011.
“We are thrilled with our athletes’ performance in Naypyitaw because we’ve not only won 13 golds but also broke three SEA Games record,” said Thailand chief coach Ekkawit Sawangphol, who has been in charge for the last 20 years.
“With one day left, we are confident of surpassing the 14-gold target to become the overall champions for the eighth consecutive time.”
The 50-year-old Ekkawit said they will also be banking on teenager Subensat Inseang to break the women’s discus record on Thursday.
“She was only 17 when she made her debut in Palembang, where she broke the Games record with a throw of 52.25m. I expect her to break that record by more than a metre this time,” he said.