Thailand enjoyed a glorious start to the 8th ASEAN Games on Friday, ending the opening day of competition on top of the medals table with an impressive haul of 12 golds, 12 silvers and 12 bronze medals.
Thai fans cheering on their athletes at the Singapore National Stadium. Photo: Calvin Teoh/SAPGOC
Malaysia and Vietnam both collected nine golds each, while hosts Singapore had athletes at the top of the podium eight times during what was an action-packed and inspiring day of competition.
The recently built, state-of the-art, Singapore National Stadium played host to five of Thailand’s golds.
Wheelchair racer Pranaya Sekratok set the tone for Thailand winning the women's 800m (T53/54) final in a time of 2min 9.29sec - the first gold of the Games.
Thailand's Pranaya Sekratok (left) in action in the women's 800m (T53/54) final - Photo by Sanketa Anand /SAPGOC
In the men's 800m (T52/53) final, Paeyo Pongsakorn triumphed in 1:41.26. Boonsri Phichai won the men’s shotput in the F11/F12 category.
In the evening session, five-time Paralympic silver medallist Konjen Saichon showed his quality again with a 14.33sec burst to win the men's 100m (T54) final.
The Thais took five more golds in the nearby OCBC Aquatic Centre, two of them won by the talented Anchaya Ketkeaw who won in the Women's 100M Breaststroke 100M Freestyle - both in the S9 classification.
Thailand's Anchaya Ketkaew in action in the women's 100m breaststroke final - Photo by Calvin Teoh /SAPGOC
Thailand, who are looking to improve on their 41-gold haul from the last APG, also had two golds in shooting with Bordin Sornsriwichai winning the
P1 10m Air Pistol Men SH1 and Phiraphong Buengbok coming out on top in the
R1 10m Air Rifle Standing Men SH1.
Malaysia had five golds in athletics - four of them coming in their traditionally strong area of 100 and 200 metres running and they swept up four more in ten-pin bowling.
Vietnam had five golds in swimming and four in athletics, including veteran Nguyen Thi Thuy, competing in her seventh games, who won the long jump (F44).
Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Thuy (340) in action at the Singapore National Stadium in the Women's 200m Final. Photo: Simon Pek / SAPGOC
Indonesia had four athletics golds and three in the water and will have also taken great pleasure from two golds in men’s team badminton.
Singapore picked up three gold medals in bowling with youngster, Mohamad Rausyan, one of the stars of the show.
The 21-year-old was one of five Singaporeans to pick up medals in the mixed singles finals. The talented ten-pin bowler had plenty of support from the home crowd at the Temasek Club on Friday as he competed in the TPB4 category, for those with an intellectual disability.
Compatriot Mohamed Ismail managed to win back-to-back gold medals in the TPB3 category, repeating his success of four years ago at the last ASEAN Para Games in Solo, Indonesia.
Singapore’s Theresa Goh (below) won the women’s 100 metres breaststroke SB4 to add to her women’s 100 metres freestyle S5 win from the morning to the delight of her cheering fans, whose chants of ‘TG’ echoed around the Sports Hub.