Thai shooters claim clean sweep on Day Four
Thai shooters make clean sweep on Day Four
Thailand showed why they are South-east Asia's shooting powerhouses, sweeping all four gold medals on offer at the National Shooting Centre yesterday.
From the 50-metre rifle prone pairing of Ratchadaporn Plengsaengthong and Thanyalak Chotphibunsin to Jiranunt Hathaichukiat in the men's individual skeet, the mighty Thais were a cut above the rest at the ranges in Choa Chu Kang.
They also won the men's skeet team and the women's 50-metre rifle prone event.
Singapore had to settle for a bronze from the men's 50m rifle prone and three silvers from the women's 50m rifle prone, men's skeet team and men's skeet.
Men's skeet gold medallist Jiranunt, 28, provided the highlight of the day when he battled back to beat Singapore's Low Jiang Hao.
The defending champion from the 2007 Games in Thailand - the men's skeet event was not included from the 2009 to 2013 Games - looked like he was going to be dethroned by 21-year-old Low, who was making his Games debut.
After the first two rounds of qualifiers, Low was sitting pretty on top of the 12-man field, with Jiranunt in second place.
Low kept his lead in the semi-finals, and it all changed in the final.
Jiranunt's (right) precise shooting saw him race to a 4-2 lead, and he never looked back, clinching the gold medal with a score of 13-10.
Jiranunt said: "I think I did quite well today, because my opponent pushed me all the way. In the end, I had a bit of luck on my side, so that helped."
Despite missing out on the gold, Low was satisfied with his showing.
"I led all the way until the final, so I think that shows my capability," he said.
"This is my first SEA Games and, honestly, I wasn't expecting to do this well. I didn't expect to finish with any medals. But now, to get silver, it's a boost."
Singapore's rifle coach Elham Hashemi Masoumi said: "The team gave it everything today, they did really well. But Thailand deserved credit, their shooters were in top form."