The 28th King's Cup Sepak Takraw World Championships held in Udon Thani, Thailand between the 16th and 22nd of September has been run and won, and our very own Australian National Team is coming home with a bronze medal from the Division 2 Men's Regu event! The King's Cup is the biggest and most prestigious sepak takraw competition in the world, with over 600 competitors and team officials representing 26 different countries from 5 continents.
The Australian Team was represented by:
Alex Newman (c) (Darwin)
Daniel Ellen-Barwell (Darwin)
Garry Condoseres (Darwin)
Veng Thao (Brisbane)
Team Manager: Nattapong Teerakaew
ASTA Vice President: Jude Ellen
Media: Barbara Clarke
The Australian campaign started in the division two men's doubles (2 players per side, plus substitutes) with Alex Newman, Daniel Ellen-Barwell and Veng Thao sharing the load on the first day with a relatively easy win against Sri Lanka (15-5, 15-9, 15-4) followed by two tougher matches against Cambodia and Chinese Taipei. Australia started poorly against Cambodia and dropped the first set quickly before fighting back in the second and third sets, only narrowly losing the third set - the teams were evenly matched, but ultimately too many mistakes meant that Australia lost the match (10-15, 12-15, 16-17). For the third match of the day, Australia faced up against Chinese Taipei, and with the game starting at 1am (after already being at the venue for 17 hours!) both teams were heavily fatigued. As with the match against Cambodia, Australia started poorly before coming close in the second and third sets but fatigue took its toll and Australia lost the match (10-15, 13-15, 12-15).
After losing to Cambodia and Chinese Taipei on the first day, Australia lost the chance to reach the semi finals of the double event, but at least got the chance to make amends for the day one losses with a morning match against Macau. The team was weary after their late night doubles match the previous day, and with only a few hours sleep they played well to defeat Macau convincingly in straight sets (15-0, 15-3, 15-12). Veng Thao and Daniel Ellen-Barwell started the match before Garry Condoseres made his debut for Australia, replacing Veng Thao for the second and third sets.
The third day saw the start of the division two regu event (three players per side, plus substitutes) and the Australian contingent was confident of a good result with a strong four man team consisting of Daniel Ellen-Barwell playing as setter, Veng Thao as spiker while Alex Newman and Garry Condoseres shared the serving duties. The Australian team opened well with a win against Macau (15-5, 15-2, 15-9) before facing division two heavy weights Germany in the afternoon. The Germans form a strong and very experienced team, and with over ten years of international competition experience under their belt they were the team to beat in division two. And so it was, Australia was a bit too shaky and the consistency of the German team proved too much. Australia lost the match (10-15, 11-15, 5-15).
After the disappointing loss to Germany on day three, Australia came out swinging against Bangladesh in the morning match and with a rotation of Alex Newman and Garry Condoseres in the service circle, won comfortably (15-7, 15-11, 15-8). The next match for team Australia proved more difficult than expected, when they faced a determined squad from Nepal - who performed better than anyone had anticipated in their first ever King's Cup appearance. It was a match that perhaps shouldn't have lasted so long, as Australia's players clearly had the more advanced skills - but after training together for only ten days prior to the competition, the Australians lacked cohesiveness on their side of the net and were still shaky on court. It turned into a nail biting match that Australia just managed to win at golden-match-point in the final set (13-15, 15-4, 10-15, 15-9, 17-16). With three wins and one loss in the regu, Australia made it through to a semi final against Chinese Taipei - and thankfully had a couple of hours to recoup after the not-so-convincing win over Nepal.
The semi-final against Chinese Taipei was the highlight of the tournament for team Australia, as both teams were at a similar skill level and the match went down to the wire over five sets. It was a tight match the whole way, with both teams fighting hard to come out on top - but Australia eventually lost to Chinese Taipei (15-12, 11-15, 9-15, 15-13, 9-15) but earned a bronze medal for their trouble!
The two teams we lost to in the regu event: Germany and Chinese Taipei, went on to play each other in the final. Their match went out to five sets before Germany finally secured the win (15-11,14-16,15-9,13-15,15-12)
Off the court it was also a very busy week for the Australian team manager Nattapong Teerakaew, and the Australian Sepak Takraw Association Vice-President Jude Ellen, with many meetings with ISTAF officials and other team's officials. The result of which is a very exciting future for sepak takraw in Australia with many avenues to persue.
All of the Takraw Australia players and officials would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement, and rest assured we will be working hard over the next twelve months to build a stronger team for the 2014 King's Cup!
There are a selection of photos from the event below, but the best way to keep up to date with all things sepak takraw, and check out hundreds of photos of team Australia is by checking our facebook page at: facebook.com/TakrawAustralia
PDF download of the complete results for all teams and matches of the 28th King's Cup
Australian National Team Results
Australia defeated Sri Lanka (15-5, 15-9, 15-4)
Australia lost to Cambodia (10-15, 12-15, 16-17)
Australia lost to Chinese Taipei (10-15, 13-15, 12-15)
Australia defeated Macau (15-0, 15-3, 15-12)
Australia defeated Macau (15-5, 15-2, 15-9)
Australia lost to Germany (10-15, 11-15, 5-15)
Australia defeated Bangladesh (15-7, 15-11, 15-8)
Australia defeated Nepal (13-15, 15-4, 10-15, 15-9, 17-16)
Australia lost to Chinese Taipei (Semi-Final) (15-12, 11-15, 9-15, 15-13, 9-15)
If you're in Darwin, make sure you look for us at the Charles Darwin University Open day on Sunday the 25th of August (Casuarina Campus). Unfortunately we won't have a sepak takraw demonstration because our players are overseas training for the upcoming sepak takraw world championships, but nevertheless come on down, grab a brochure and have a chat! Whether you're interested in learning to play sepak takraw, looking to get sepak takraw started at your school or sporting club, or want to talk about business opportunities - we'd love to see you!
With the 2013 King's Cup Sepak Takraw World Championships just around the corner, the Australian National Team has officially been selected. The Competition will be held in the Convention Hall of Central Plaza, Udon Thani, Thailand from the 16th to the 22nd of September, 2013. Congratulations to the following players on their selection to the Australian Team:
- Daniel Ellen-Barwell (Spiker / Feeder)
- Garry Condoseres (Feeder / Server)
- Veng Thao (Spiker)
- Alex Newman (Server)
Daniel Ellen-Barwell and Alex Newman are already in Bangkok training for the event, and they will be joined by Veng Thao and Garry Condoseres in the coming weeks, before the team travels to Udon Thani with Team Manager Nattapong Teerakaew for the event on the 14th of September.
For photos and updates from the team during their stay in Thailand, check our Takraw Australia Facebook Page.
The 2013 King's Cup Sepak Takraw World Championship has been announced!
The event will be held in the Convention hall of Central Plaza in Udon Thani, Thailand from the 16th to the 22nd of September, 2013.
The King's Cup is currently the most prestigious and hotly contested sepak tournament in the world, with over 24 countries competing for the top spot. With competitions for Doubles, Regu, Team, and Hoop takraw, you can bet there will be a lot of amazing takraw over the course of the week-long event.
Last year Australia competed in the 3rd division Doubles and Regu tournaments, and won bronze medals for both! This year, we will be aiming to improve that result. We are currently looking for new players to expand our team for King's Cup, so if you are a sepak takraw player living in Australia and you want to see what international competition is like, send us an email at email@example.com