James Wattana still has it! He’s a national hero in Thailand and has made his country proud once again.
Snooker legend James Wattana claims SEA Games gold for Thailand
Thai snooker legend James Wattana claimed his first Southeast Asian Games gold medal on Sunday.
The 52-year-old Thai overcame stiff resistance from young Malaysian Lim Kok Leong in the men’s final at Ha Dong Gymnasium in Hanoi.
Kok Leong, 27, drew first blood in the best-of-seven-frames showdown, winning the opener 75-24.
Wattana won the next 88-34 to level the match but the hot-potting Malaysian edged ahead by clinching the third frame 70-25.
However, 2-1 was as good as it got for Kok Leong as the Thai cue-master found another gear and began schooling the young upstart.
Wattana took the next three frames 65-48, 83-33 and 67-42 to grab the gold medal.
The victory was also sweet revenge after Kok Leong crushed Thailand’s Passakorn Suwanawat 4-0 in the semi-final.
Meanwhile, the Thai Billiard Sports Association celebrated its first SEA Games gold, having won five bronze medals at previous editions.
At press time, Thailand was in second place with 293 medals – 77 gold, 91 silver, 125 bronze. Host Vietnam tops the table with 401 medals – 185 gold, 108 silver, 108 bronze. Indonesia is in third with 211 medals – 61 gold, 80 silver, 70 bronze.