Selangor Journal
The national sepak takraw team in action during their match against Thailand, in the final of the 2024 Sepak Takraw World Cup at the Titiwangsa Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, on May 26, 2024. — Picture by BERNAMA

Sepak takraw: Malaysia’s team title drought drags on after World Cup loss to Thailand

KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — Malaysia failed to end their 33-year wait for glory after losing 2-1 to giants Thailand in the team final of the 2024 Sepak Takraw World Cup at the Titiwangsa Stadium today.

The home defeat means the national squad failed to clinch a hattrick of wins, having emerged champions in the doubles and regu events by downing archrivals Thailand 2-0 in both finals on Wednesday (May 23).

Malaysia last won a team title at the 1991 Manila SEA Games and has had to take a backseat as Thailand has flexed its muscles to dominate the event since then.

In today’s final in front of a 2,000-capacity crowd, national coach Ahmad Jais Baharun fielded the first regu of Farhan Adam (apit kiri), Mohammad Syahir Mohd Rosdi (tekong), and Mohamad Azlan Alias (apit kanan), who duly delivered the first point, albeit after a first-set hiccup, by winning 9-15, 15-11, 15-13.

Malaysia’s second regu of Amirul Zazwan Amir, Muhammad Haziq Hairul Nizam, and Muhammad Noraizat Mohd Nordin failed to keep their part of the bargain as they went down 8-15, 5-15 to Thailand’s Wichan Temkort, Kritsanapong Nontakote, and Pichet Pansan.

In the decider, Malaysia’s third regu of Aidil Aiman Azwawi, Zuhri Muhammad Zain, and Baihakki A’ripin gave the home fans a glimmer of hope by taking a five-point lead.

Undaunted, Thailand switched to a higher gear with the presence of tekong Sittipong Khamchan and stormed to a 15-12, 15-12 win to lift the World Cup trophy.

Meanwhile, Syahir said that the disappointing result aside, they proved that Malaysia has narrowed the gap on Thailand and vowed to exact revenge in the Thai King’s Cup Sepak Takraw Championships in September.

“We will work on improving on our defence and so on. We will not give up and will not make it easy for them in the upcoming tournaments,” he said.

Meanwhile, beaten semi-finalists South Korea and Indonesia finished joint third in the team event.

— Bernama


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