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Date: 10/11/2018
 

In their main round group match this morning Thailand overcame hosts Argentina eventually – but it was only after three rounds of the shoot-out that they prevailed, winning incredibly, 26:24 to win the match 2:1 and hand Argentina’s men their first defeat of the tournament.

“I feel very, very happy, it’s the first time we’ve beaten Argentina,” said Thailand’s centre back and goalkeeper Open Kannarong, after his side managed to gain some revenge for their shoot-out loss against Argentina in the world championship quarter-final last year.

“The first period the crowd was so loud, but we won it, and in the second period we felt pain [when we lost], but we fought together as a team and beat them – we will continue fighting in all our games.”

The son of head coach Surakhom Kannarong, Open ended with 10 points against the hosts, including a crucial two points with five seconds left at the end of the first period to come from behind and shock the home fans packed inside the central court.

And in the end, Kannarong was the difference in the shoot-out, scoring three times – including one strike as a goalkeeper and made the crucial save at 20:20. So what is the secret to his performances?

“I give my body, my heart and everything I have in this heart - I give it all to my country,” he said. I say ‘khàawp-khun’ to the fans here – that’s ‘thank-you’ in the Thai language. I don’t play for me I play for my country, for my family, my fans; everybody in the country I play for.

“This is the first time that beach handball is going to be in the Olympics and it is very hard for us all to get a medal but if we go together as a team and fight hard, we can go far.

“I have been playing handball since I was very young – a long time. Handball makes me sad, makes me happy, it gives me everything.”

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