Oct 5, 2015


India and Philippines will join a host of elite nations in the ISTAF SuperSeries Finals 2014/15 THAILAND from Oct 20-23 at the Nakhom Pathom Municipal Gymnasium near Bangkok.

Two-time overall champions Thailand will lead the challenge in the eight-team men’s division tournament which will decide the overall champion. Hot on the heels of the formidable Thais will be Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Myanmar, Japan and newcomers, Philippines and India.

 The Malaysians won silver medals in the 2011/12 and 2013/14 SuperSeries Finals while Korea and Japan picked bronze medals respectively.

India and Philippines are replacements for Indonesia and China which featured prominently in the last three circuits of ISTAF SuperSeries 2014/15 held in the cities of Nay Pi Taw (Myanmar), Malacca (Malaysia) and Wolmyeong Arena in Gunsan City (South Korea).

India’s most dominant performance was as host of ISTAF SuperSeries 2013/14 INDIA at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi where they came back from the brink of despair to defeat Singapore 3-2 in what was undoubtedly one of the most explosive matches in SuperSeries history.

In the men’s division draw for ISTAF SuperSeries 2014/15 Finals THAILAND conducted in Bangkok today, Asian and world champions Thailand are seeded No 1 and drawn into Group A with Philippines, India and Myanmar while the Malaysians, seeded No 2, are in Group B with Japan, Singapore and Korea.

The Singaporeans produced a scintillating performance in the preliminary round of ISTAF SuperSeries KOREA in April following a resounding 2-0 win over the Malaysians. It was Singapore’s first ever victory over Malaysia in 20 years and with the two nations drawn in the same group, fans can expect another round of excitement.

In the six-team women’s category, Vietnam, Japan and Korea are in Group A. Defending champions Thailand are in Group B with Malaysia and Myanmar.

The draw was jointly conducted by ISTAF Secretary-General Dato’ Abdul Halim Kader, Takraw Association of Thailand (TSA) Secretary-General TanawatPrasongcharoen, TSA Treasurer BoonchaiLorhpipat, and Asia Sports Ventures (ASV) General Manager and Head of Business, NishantSehgal.

The formation of the ISTAF SuperSeries was mooted by the Singapore-based ASV, the official commercial and developmental partner of the International Sepaktakraw Federation.

Dato’ Abdul Halim Kader said: “At the beginning of the season, it was ISTAF’s pipeline to invite India to compete in ISTAF SuperSeries 2014/15 tournaments. Due to China's potential for growth, ISTAF has given the team ample opportunities for international exposure in the earlier legs of the ISTAF SuperSeries 2014/15 tournaments.”

“Now it is time for India to step up into the international limelight for ISTAF SuperSeries Finals 2014/15 THAILAND. Given their recent accomplishment of finishing second behind champions Malaysia at the French Open, we can expect an explosive rivalry between the teams in the Finals in the province of NakhonPathom,” added Dato’ Abdul Halim.

He confirmed that the Indonesians have requested to take a back seat citing a domestic tournament which the national team will be participating in during the dates set for the final showdown.

Takraw Association of Thailand’s Lorhpipat, who is also the deputy president of the international body, said: “I wish to express our gratitude to International Sepaktakraw Federation for giving us the honour in hosting ISTAF SuperSeries 2014/2015 THAILAND.”

“We truly hope this series will set the benchmark for future host countries to emulate. With all the participating nations roaring to compete, we promise to facilitate and ensure a remarkable experience for fans and players to remember,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sehgal added that the SuperSeries is a welcome step in ASV and ISTAF’s continued efforts to further enhance and develop the sport of sepaktakraw internationally.

“The SuperSeries platform is progressing on all fronts, from one year to another and from one tournament to another,” said Sehgal. “The new format of introducing the ISTAF SuperSeries has yielded great success. This was merely created due to the demand from fans around the world clamouring to witness matches with evenly contested and equally-skilled teams.”

Group A: Thailand, Philippines, India and Myanmar.
Group B – Malaysia, Japan, Singapore and Korea.

Group A – Vietnam, Japan and Korea.
Group B – Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar.

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