24/05/2024 08:49 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 (Bernama) -- The manager and head coach of world sepak takraw giants Thailand Supot Tumpracha has hailed the might of the Malaysian squad, admitting that the side are currently stronger than the War Elephants.

The admission was made by Tumpracha after witnessing Malaysia defeat Thailand in the doubles and regu event of the Premier Division of the tournament at the Titiwangsa Stadium here on Wednesday.

Supot observed that the teamwork and communication between the Malaysian players were very good and thus seen as the catalyst for the impressive performance shown by coach Ahmad Jais Baharun's men.

"Congratulations to Malaysia for the victory over Thailand, I accept (the defeat) and have to say that right now, Malaysia is stronger than Thailand.

"Right now, I think the teamwork and communication in the team are very good, and also the striker  sunback ('sunback spike' - a vertical, leaping backstroke leg smash manoeuvre) is very dangerous now, difficult to defend and block," he said in Thai as translated by the team’s interpreter when met here today.

The sunback spike is better known as a 'maniam' within the local sepak takraw community and among the national players who practises the lethal finish is the right flanker or 'killer' Mohamad Azlan Alias.

At the same time, Tumpracha also ascribed Thailand's defeat on Wednesday partly to the solid support of the home crowd, which made his players nervous and stressed.

“Of course, the home crowd made the players very nervous and pressured. In Thailand, Thai players never face this situation, the (Malaysian) crowd is boisterous, very loud,” he said.

On Wednesday, the national squad created history when they managed to end Thailand's domination after defeating them in the finals of the team and doubles events respectively, with 2-0 results.

Tumpracha said after the two defeats, Thailand were looking to win the team event currently underway, with the finals on Sunday.

"In the team event, we have so many more choices, so many good players, so I promise the Thailand team will (try their best to) beat Malaysia in the team event (if both teams meet in the final)," he said.

Thailand today confirmed their progress to the quarter-finals of the team event as champions of Group B after easily beating China 3-0 in the final group fixture, and will take on the runners-up of Group C, which will be determined tonight.




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