Wansawang Sawasdee, Srisung Boonthung, Sompong Saombankuay and both 4x100 relay teams produced a Thai parade of success with five gold medals on the fourth day (10) of athletics at the 24th South East Asia (SEA) Games which are being staged in this northern city's His Majesty the King's 80th Birthday Anniversary Stadium.
Four more Games’ records were also set bringing the current total to 13 after four days of competition - Saombankuay in the Pole Vault, both Thai 4x100m relay squads, Malaysia's Rayzamshah Wan Shah (110m Hurdles) and Philippines' Henry Dagmil (Long Jump).
Relay hegemony continues
With three of the four men from the winning squad at this summer's World University Games in Bangkok, including 100m runner-up Wachara Sondee, the Thai quartet executed another great relay victory with smooth changeovers to win the 4x100m gold in a new Games’ record of 38.95.
Wachara Sondee, Siriroj Darasuriyong, Sompote Suwannarangsri and Sittichai Suwonprateep joined efforts to erase the previous time of 39.11, set by another Thai team in Brunei 1999.
The Thais, who are also the Asian Games sprint relay champions, have come very close to their seven-year old 38.80 national record twice this year as they clocked 38.92 in August to claim the World University crown.
The Indonesians, led by 100m champion Suryo Agung Wibowo, were pulled to a new national record of 39.79, ahead of the Malaysians (39.90), who ran very close to their historic best.
In the women's race, the host squad matched the success of their male counterparts clocking 44.00 seconds to smash their previous Games’ record of 44.30, set in Manila 2005.
Despite the absence of Jutamass Thavoncharoen, who withdrew after winning her 100m semi-final in a personal best of 11.38, Thailand’s Sangwan Jaksunin, national record holder Khawpueak Supavadee, Orranut Klomdee and Nongnuch Sanrat took an easy victory to maintain their country's dominance in the relays.
The Thais last lost a men's 4x100m final at the SEA Games in 1987 (to Indonesia) and the women's race in 1981.
Jaksunin, Klomdee and Sanrat formed the team who clinched the silver medal at the 2007 World University Games in Bangkok.
7.87m opener secures Long Jump gold
Henry Dagmil of the Philippines improved his national and Sea Games’ record three times to defend his Long Jump crown successfully. Dagmil celebrated his birthday - turned 26 last Friday - on a high note. He opened with 7.87m and repeated the leap in the fifth, and ended with 7.84m on his last attempt.
Sompong Saombankuay, second in 2005, celebrated his first SEA Games gold in the Pole Vault, equalling his national record of 5.10m in the process and bettering the previous Games’ mark (5.05), set by Indonesia's Nunung Jayadi in Brunei 1999. After struggling over 4.55, he produced a clear series until he failed three times over 5.20.
In the absence of Singapore's seven-time winner James Wong Tuck Yim, two-time runner-up Wansawang Sawasdee finally savoured the Discus gold with a season's best of 54.13.
19-year-old takes sprint hurdles win
One month before turning 20, Rayzamshah Wan Shah ran the race of his life in the 110m Hurdles and became the youngest champion in Korat. A semi-finalist at the 2006 World Junior Championships, the Malaysian improved from 14.15 to 13.91 to beat Suphan Wongsriphuck (13.95) by a close margin and erased the Thai's Games mark of 13.92 when he won in 2003.
"I ran the race of my life, gave everything I had but I still can't believe that I had won," Rayzam Shah told Bernama.
Mohammad Muhd Faiz joined his Malaysian compatriot as he finished third in 14.00.
In the women's 100m Hurdles, Indonesia 's Dedeh Erawati edged Malaysia's defending champion Moh Siew Wei (13.61) in the final with a new national record of 13.51. The 28-year old finally enjoyed the taste of gold in her fourth SEA Games as she had finished fourth in 2001 and 2003 and second in Manila 2005.
27-year old Malaysian Siti Shahidah Abdullah defended her Hammer Throw crown with a fourth round 52.93m.
As he did two years ago, Srisung Boonthung completed his second 5000-10,000m double with a clear victory over the men’s 25-lap race in 30:51.66.
The athletics competition ends on Tuesday (11) with 12 finals: the men's 200m, 400m, 1500m, High Jump and Javelin, as well as the women's 200m, 400m, 10,000m, Pole Vault, Triple Jump, Shot Put and Heptathlon.
Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF
1. Srisung Boonthung THA 30:51.66
2. Julius Sermona PHI 31:16.75
3. Soe Min Thu MYA 31:33.26
100m Hurdles (-0.3)
1. Rayzamshah Wan Shah MAS 13.91 GR
2. Suphan Wongsriphuck THA 13.95
3. Mohammad Muhd Faiz MAS 14.00
1. Sompong Saombankuay THA 5.10 GR
2. Amnat Kunpadit THA 4.80
3. Emerson Obiena PHI 4.70
1. Henry Dagmil PHI 7.87 (+1.7) GR
2. Keeratikorn Janmanee THA 7.75
3. Mohd Shahrul Amri Suhaimi MAS 7.48
1. Wansawang Sawasdee THA 54.13
2. Kvanchai Numsomboon THA 53.06
3. Mohammad Yazid Yatimi Yusof BRU 41.82
1. Thailand 38.95 GR
(Wachara Sondee, Siriroj Darasuriyong, Sompote Suwannarangsri and Sittichai Suwonprateep)
2. Indonesia 39.79
3. Malaysia 39.90
100m Hurdles (-0.8)
1. Dedeh Erawati INA 13.51
2. Moh Siew Wei MAS 13.61
3. Wallapa Pansoongneun THA 13.85
1. Siti Shahidah Abdullah MAS 52.93
2. Rose Hwrlinda Inggriana INA 50.79
3. Yurita Arianny Arsyad INA 49.99
1. Thailand 44.00 GR
(Sangwan Jaksunin, Khawpueak Supavadee, Orranut Klomdee and Nongnuch Sanrat)
2. Vietnam 45.62
3. Malaysia 46.38