USA National Sepak Takraw Team Will Compete in the Final ISTAF Super Series of the 2011-2012 Season and the 27th King’s Cup in Thailand
Sacramento, CA, USA, June 19, 2012
The USA National Sepak Takraw Team will send five men's players to compete in the Final International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) Super Series Tournament to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from June 28-July 1, 2012 in Island Hall (3rd floor) at the Fashion Island Mall. In addition, the team will send six men’s players to compete in the 27th King’s Cup Championship from July 2-8, 201, held at the same venue. The top twelve teams in the world will be competing in the ISTAF Super Series tournament. Team USA is currently ranked eighth in the Super Series ranking (see Rankings link at www.sepaktakraw.org) and hopes to move up to the top seven. The USA Men’s Team for the Super Series will consist of five players, including two Tekongs (Ya Her and Eagle Vang), two strikers (Tony Ontam and Jim Thao), and one feeder (Jeremy Mirken). Tony Ontam, the Team Captain, says, “This is our strongest team for this ISTAF Super Series season. Our players have different strengths and we play together well as a team.”
About twenty-four countries will be competing in the 27th King’s Cup, including Thailand, India, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Germany, and the USA, among others. Team USA will compete in both the Men’s Regu event and Men’s Doubles event. Six American men’s players will represent the USA Men's Team at the King’s Cup. The Men’s Regu team will include two Tekongs (Ya Her and Eagle Vang), two strikers (Tony Ontam and Jim Thao), and one feeder (Jeremy Mirken). The Men’s Doubles team will include Tony Ontam, Jim Thao, and Jack Harris.
Sepak Takraw is a exciting net sport which originated in Southeast Asia hundreds of years ago and is hugely popular in Asia; in fact, Sepak means “kick” in Malaysia and Takraw means “ball” in Thailand. The sport combines elements of volleyball, soccer, martial arts, and gymnastics, and is one of the signature events at the prestigious Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games. In the USA, the sport is growing and is frequently played in Southeast Asian communities. Sepak Takraw tournaments are held all over the world and have been featured on ESPN3, Sports Illustrated, CNN.com, EuroSport2, StarHubTV, Solar Sports, and other media venues.
The ISTAF Super Series is being organized by ISTAF in partnership with UFA Sports Asia. Part of the tournament will be broadcast all over the globe.
August 2, 2011
USA Men's Team Competes at Inaugural ISTAF Sepak Takraw World Cup in Malaysia, Now Ranks 11th in World
The International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) World Cup was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from July 21- 24, 2011. The players who represented the USA team at the ISTAF World Cup 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia included Sakwasan Leesomsa, the striker in jersey number 1, Tony Ontam, the server and team captain in jersey number 3, Khamsing Khammanivong, the feeder in jersey number 5, and John Thao, the substitute and server in jersey number 4. There were 24 men's teams and 12 women's teams at the World Cup.
In the men's event, there were 8 groups. Team USA was in group F along with Switzerland and Indonesia. In the first round the USA played against Switzerland and the USA defeated Switzerland 3:0. In the second match of the first round, the USA played against Indonesia. Indonesia, the top seed of the group, defeated the USA 3:0. The USA team was the underdog team but played at their best performance and was able to scare Indonesia in the third set by playing at deuce. The score of the third set was 16:14 points.
In the first round, team USA earned second place of group F and moved onto the second round. In the second round the USA played against Singapore, the top team of group D. The games were very competitive. The two teams played at their best skills in order to try to qualify for the quarter final round. The USA team started the first set with Sakwasan Leesomsa, John Thao, and Tony Ontam. The end result of this match was the USA lost to Singapore 2:3. The Singapore team moved on to the semi-final round but USA had to play off to secure their place for the ISTAF Super Series.
In the challenging play off match for the Super Series, the USA played against Iran. Both teams wanted to secure their seats to qualify for the ISTAF Super Series. The match started with the USA team leading the points and winning in the first and second sets. In the third set, the USA team initially led the points until 14-8, however the USA team wasn't able to close the match. Iran team played very well at the end of the third set and defeated the USA team at deuce. In the fourth set, the Iran team led the game and won the set. To determine the winner of the match, the two teams needed to play in a fifth set. The fifth set was very competitive in terms of points and emotions of players on both teams. Iran played very well in the fifth set, received all of the USA's serves, spiked the ball back and earned points. However, the USA team's coach saw weak points on the Iran team and was able to tell the server of the USA team serve the ball to the striker of Iran's team. So toward the end of the fifth set, the USA was able to control the game and close the set with a clean fighting spirit. The USA coach was the key to winning this set. The end result was that the USA defeated Iran 3:2 and secured the spot for ISTAF Super Series Thailand 2011 in September. The USA men's national team also made history in the sport of American Sepak Takraw by ranking 11th in the world.
Twelve men's teams out of twenty four teams qualified to play in the ISTAF Super Series. There will be five tournaments for the ISTAF Super Series to be played in the following countries: Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and Iran. At the moment the team is getting ready for the first ISTAF Super Series, which will be held in Bangkok from September 8-11, 2011. The tournament will be televised to 67 countries around the globe.
USA National Sepak Takraw Men's Team to Compete in First ISTAF World Cup in Malaysia
Sacramento, CA, July 4, 2011:
The USA National Sepak Takraw Team will send four men's players to compete in the first-ever International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) World Cup Tournament to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from July 21-24, 2011.
Twenty-four countries will be competing for the Men’s and Women's World Champion titles in the ISTAF World Cup, including Thailand, Switzerland, Australia, France, Malaysia, Germany, and the USA, among others. Four American men will represent the USA Men's Team at the event: Tony Ontam, the Team Captain from Sacramento, California; Sakwasan Leesomsa from Methuen, Massachusetts; Khamsing Khammanivong from Lowell, Massachusetts; and John Thao from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Sepak Takraw is a unique net sport which mashes up elements of volleyball, soccer, martial arts, and gymnastics. The sport originated in Southeast Asia hundreds of years ago and is hugely popular in Asia; in fact, Sepak Takraw is one of the signature events at the Asian Games. In the USA, the sport is growing and is commonly played in Southeast Asian communities. Sepak Takraw tournaments are held in states all over the USA, including Minnesota, California, Massachusetts, and Texas.
The USA Men's Team will be traveling to Thailand to do intensive training starting July 7th, and then heading to Malaysia for the ISTAF World Cup. “For our first ISTAF World Cup, our team's goal is to finish in the top twelve so that we can secure a place in the ISTAF Super Series tournaments, which will be held in Thailand from September 8-11,” USA Team Captain Tony says.
The ISTAF World Cup is being organized by ISTAF in partnership with UFA Sports Asia. The total prize purse for the ISTAF World Cup will be USD $50,000. The ISTAF World Cup will have TV coverage in 67 countries, including the USA, where the event will be shown on ESPN3.com.
For media assistance and more information on the event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sepaktakraw.org. You can e-mail the USA Team at info@TakrawUSA.com.