GUNSAN CITY (23 April, 2015): The Koreans, as hosts of ISTAF SuperSeries KOREA 2014/15, will be determined to turn the form book upside down when the third leg of the ISTAF SuperSeries gets underway at the Wolmyeong Arena on Thursday.
Having last tasted success in the final of ISTAF SuperSeries INDIA 2013/14 in New Delhi following a clinical 3-0 win over Malaysia, the Koreans will be hoping for Lady Luck in front of a partisan crowd.
For the men’s groupings, the top two seeds, Thailand and Malaysia are first drawn into Group A and Group B respectively. In Group A, Thailand will be joined by Japan, Indonesia and host Korea.
In Group B, ISTAF SuperSeries MALAYSIA champions, Team Malaysia will see tough competition from Myanmar, Singapore, and China. The Malaysians go into the tournament as the form team, coming of their historic win against Thailand in ISTAF SuperSeries MALAYSIA held in Malacca.
Defending champions Malaysia kick-off the series with two matches in the men’s category on the opening day against China and Myanmar respectively while the Koreans entertain Japan.
The ISTAF SuperSeries KOREA 2014/15 is held in collaboration with International Sepaktakraw Federation and its commercial and developmental partner Asia Sports Ventures (ASV) with support from the Governor of Jeollabuk Do, Song Ha-Jin and Mayor City of Gunsan, Moon Dong-Shin.
After a world-class performance by the Malaysians at ISTAF SuperSeries MALAYSIA in February where they defeated Thailand to win gold, the city of Gunsan will be far more challenging with changes to the line-up including the absence of Syahir Rosdi.
Sahidan Ali leads the Malaysian side alongside Hairul Hazizi Haidzir, Zuleffendi Sumari, Khairul Zaman and Mohamed Zamree.
In the women’s tournament draw, Thailand will be joined by eternal rivals Malaysia, and Korea in what promises to be a great round of Group A matches. Malaysia will find the going tough once again with the dominant Thai women’s team, as well as a strong Korea side that will want to capitalise on their home court advantage.
Vietnam is the top seed in Group B, along with Indonesia and Japan, who will both hope to push Vietnam aside for the top spot. Vietnam advanced to the final of ISS MALAYSIA and will want to improve on their form and try to wrest the women’s title from Thailand.
ISTAF Deputy-President, Datuk Haji Ahmad Ismail, said: “The International Sepaktakraw Federation is certainly proud to organise this third leg of the ISTAF SuperSeries in Korea with the strong support from the Governor of Jeollabuk-do, Mr. Song Ha-Jin, and Mayor of Gunsan City, Mr. Moon Dong-Shin. They have been excellent hosts.”
“ISTAF SuperSeries 2014/15 is just one of many events we bring to sepaktakraw players and fans with the ultimate goal of improving our quality and performance in the international arena,” he added at a pre-tournament press conference today.
Dato’ Abdul Halim Kader, the secretary-general of the sepaktakraw’s world governing body, said ISTAF’s ultimate goal is to get sepaktakraw’s inclusion into the Olympics and are working closely with SportsAccord International and Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) to garner support for the inclusion of Sepaktakraw in the inaugural World Beach Games scheduled to be held in 2017 in Europe.
ISTAF will also send a delegation to Socchi, Russia this weekend for the SportsAccord Convention to determine the inclusion of Sepaktakraw which will mark a giant leap for ISTAF in moulding its ultimate mission – the Olympics.
Asia Sports Venture’s Chief Operating Officer, Venu Ramadass, said this season sees the ISTAF SuperSeries tournaments being streamed live in its entirety via our official website, www.sepaktakraw.org.
“This will allow more fans across the world to watch and enjoy the game via the internet. And to complement our website and its contents, we also have in the pipeline a dedicated mobile app to provide fans all the sepaktakraw news and information they need in an instant,” added Ramadass.
“This application which is called “Sepaktakraw” is available for download on both Apple and Android platforms. This app is dedicated in giving all Sepaktakraw fans the match fixtures and live score updates on all matches played. Adding on to this, it also gives the viewers an opportunity to view the matches “LIVE” through this application,” mentioned Ramadass.
Group A: Thailand, Japan, Korea, Indonesia
Group B: Malaysia, Myanmar, China, Singapore
Group A: Thailand, Malaysia, Korea
Group B: Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan
*All matches will be available for live viewing via livestream at www.sepaktakraw.org
Released by Shekhinah PR on behalf of Asia Sports Ventures.
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