The high-kicking immensely watchable hybrid sport of sepak takraw finished its first International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTF) World Cup on July 24, with the Thai men’s and women’s teams. Thailand’s teams won by 3-0 sets played during every semifinal and final match at at Titiwangsa Sepaktakraw Stadium. The finals came down to the men’s team taking down Malaysia and the women’s team decimating Vietnam.
Acing sets in a combined six games is proof positive of Thailand’s dominance of a sport just beginning to compete on its new world platform. How did the players accomplish that feat? By using their feet, knees, chests and heads to manipulate a rattan or rubberized ISTF-approved ball over the net. More than a bit of gymnastics are also thrown into the mix.