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Bangkok swimmers reign in the pool

[NATIONAL GAMES] An imperious performance by Bangkok's swimmers contributed to the team's charge towards the overall title in the 36th National Games.

Published on September 20, 2007

Bangkok reigned supreme in the pool, winning five out of the six gold medals at stake on the day. The reigning champions hauled in 18 gold medals yesterday.

The momentum was set by the women in the 100m backstroke event. Venika Kaewchai and Pornthip Smithsathrakarn had a 1-2 finish with the former crossing first at 1.07.13 minutes.

Lop Buri managed to break Bangkok's stranglehold in the pool by claiming a gold in the men's 400m freestyle class through Suriyakul Tungkasen, who clocked 4.09.11. Thanyanan Padungkiat-watthana of Bangkok was edged by a hundredth of a second.

However, Bangkok's judo team had an eminently forgettable day, returning with just a single gold medal despite landing fighters in the finals of three categories.

Phanupong Prothien succeeded where his team-mates failed by defeating Suwat Tasilapachote of Si Sa Ket to claim the lone gold for Bangkok in the men's super-heavyweight class.

Bangkok, who failed to win a gold in athletics on Tuesday, came back with a vengeance, claiming five titles, with the most notable being a sweep in the 4x100 relay events.

Three of the quartet who set the Games' record in the women's 4x100 relay team in Suphan Buri last year were present to inspire Bangkok to glory, finishing at 45.81 seconds.

"We made no mistakes in the exchange of batons. It helped us establish an early lead and made my job really easy," said Wanlapa Phansoongnuen, who anchored the team to victory.

The Bangkok men's quartet, anchored by Seksan Wongsara, followed suit in as dominant style as their female counterparts, leading from start to finish at 40.59 seconds.

Chiang Mai climbed from fourth place in the standings to second spot following a seven-medal haul that took their tally to 16 gold medals, well behind run-away leaders Bangkok who sit atop with 57.

A total of 30 gold medals are on offer today, with the prospect of Bangkok swimmers dominating the events a real possibility.

Kitinan Sanguansak

 The Nation

Nakhon Si Thammarat

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