Thailand’s women’s volleyball team is getting huge kudos after making local sports history by battling for the last eight of the World Finals to be held in Turkey.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha praised the Thai strikers on Monday for showing the world their impressive performances and skills which led them to the FIVB Women’s Volleyball Nations League final to be held in Ankara, in Turkey later this month, according to the government. spokesperson Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.
On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon also congratulated the team and the Thai Volleyball Association for their unprecedented success.
Thailand lost to Italy 3-0 on Sunday night in the final preliminary round match in Sofia, Bulgaria, and needed the United States to triumph over Germany in a match starting a few hours later in Calgary, in Canada, for a place in the final. The United States beat Germany 3-1.
Only seven teams in the first round and hosts Turkey advance to the final. Thailand sit last with 15 points from five wins and seven losses.
Thailand will meet Turkey in their first quarter-final, either July 13 or 14.
Thailand coach Danai Sriwatcharamethakul said the final in Ankara would be a bonus for the young team. They will meet strong teams in the knockout stage.
“The players will gain experience. It’s a good opportunity for them,” he said.
Team captain Pornpun Guedpard said after the game against Italy that the team was happy with their performance in the first round.
READ ALSO CAF moves CAN 2023 to 2024 due to weather problems
“Overall we’re happy with our form, although not 100 per cent,” she said.
Central blocker Thatdao Nuekjang thanked the Thai fans for all their support, which she said helped motivate the team to success.
“Although we are here in Bulgaria, we can feel it [their support],” she said. “We’re grateful for that.”
The team will return to Bangkok on Tuesday and focus on preparing for the game against Turkey.