Fans lend vocal support as Laos wins first judo gold

Posted by samakomlao Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hundreds of fans packed the Budo Centre yesterday to cheer on 22-year-old Lao fighter Ms Phonenaly Sayarath who rewarded them with Laos ' first gold medal in judo.

As her supporters' shouts rose to a crescendo, Ms Phonenaly defeated her Thai opponent Sureerat Sadmaroeng in the final round of the women's under 52kg weight division.

Three Lao fighters competed in yesterday's final rounds at the Budo Centre.

The fans' enthusiasm was rewarded by Ms Phonenaly's gold medal and the efforts of two other Lao fighters, Ms Syamphone Phetnida in the women's under 48kg and Ms Chitchinda Bounphaaksone in the under 75kg, who both won silver medals.

Ms Syamphone and Ms Chitchinda were outmanoeuvred in their final rounds by their Vietnamese rivals Van Ngoc Tu and Nguyen Thi Kieu.

Ms Phonenaly's gold medal was her first and also the first for the Lao Judo Federation at this SEA Games c ompetition.

“I am really happy to have won gold at the SEA Games, especially since the event is taking place in my motherland. Thanks to all of my fans for cheering for me,” she said.

Ms Phonenaly has competed in the SEA Games on three occasions. The first was at the 23rd SEA Games in 2005 in the Philippines , and her second medal attempt was at the last SEA Games in Thailand in 2007.

“I finally have the top prize after winning bronze at the last SEA Games and getting nothing in the Philippines ,” she said.

She believes her success at this year's games is the result of two years of hard training in Japan , where she is studying.

Judo fighters competed for seven gold medals yesterday. Vietnam won three gold medals, while Myanmar , the Philippines and Thailand received one each.

Today, seven more gold medals are up for grabs in judo.

Laos has high hopes for two in the men's over 100kg and under 90kg categories, according to Lao judo trainer Chittiveth Nouankhaising.

Create a Meebo Chat Room
Cheer for Laos
Name: **
What is your email? **
Your homepage (If any):
Where are you from? **
Your message for Laos **
Private Message: