Thai teenager Puripol Bunson defeated the opponent in the men’s 100m 10.44 seconds at the 31st SEA Games on Wednesday and captured the sprint double in Hanoi.
Kayla Anis Richardson of the Philippines won the women’s 200m bronze in the 100m at the Vietnamese capital.
But the night was the wonderful kid Puripole, 16, who easily lost the rest of the field and silenced almost the entire local crowd at My Day Stadium.
“I was under a lot of pressure before the competition … but I was able to do it and I’m very happy,” he told reporters.
The teenager had already made headlines in the regional showpiece after breaking the Games record twice in the 200 meters, his best time was 20.37 seconds gold.
“My goal for this year is to consistently improve my record and try to break my own record,” Puripole said.
He overtook Thai teammate Soraut Dapbang, who won silver, with Mark Brian Louis of Singapore in bronze.
Richardson found herself almost neck-and-neck with her rivals when she crossed the finish line in 11.60 seconds to win the women’s gold, just 0.02 seconds ahead of Veronica Shanti Pereira of Singapore.
He took credit for his performance when he won gold at the 2015 SEA Games, then entered 11.76 seconds and called Wednesday’s victory a “little personal victory.”
“It simply came to our notice then. I have such a great support system. I am very happy, “said the 24-year-old.
In the 200 meters, Pereira won the silver, beating her bronze twin sister Kaila.
Richardson, who holds dual citizenship in both the Philippines and the United States, said he was going to try and qualify for the World Athletics Championships in July.
Although the sprinter’s main goal is the Paris 2024 Olympics.
“2024 is definitely a gold mine, it’s worth reaching for both me and my sister so it’s definitely something I’ve been keeping in mind throughout all these seasons,” he said.
Following the heels of Puripole’s sprint success, Thai badminton players also beat opponents in the men’s and women’s finals.
In the women’s event, they beat Indonesia 3-0 and the men’s team beat Malaysia in the same scoreline.
It gave Thailand 53 golds and they are second in the medal table than the Philippines at 37th.
Host Vietnam front with 126 gold.
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