USA Sepak Takraw Team Will Compete in the 31st King’s Cup 2016 in Thailand

Sacramento, CA, USA, September 20, 2016

USA Takraw Association (USAST) will send the best players who have been training for two years to compete in the 31st King’s Cup Sepak Takraw World Championship 2016 to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from October 17-23, 2016 in Island Hall (3rd floor) at the Fashion Island Mall.

At the 30th King’s Cup 2015, the USA team got 1st place in both doubles and Regu events in division 2, so this year the USA team will qualify to compete in division 1 where stronger teams compete. The teams that are expected to possibly compete in the doubles event are Malaysia, China, Laos, USA, Iran, and Australia and the teams that may possibly compete in the Regu event are Japan, Brunei, USA, Iran and Chinese Taipei.

There are five players from the USA National Sepak Takraw Team who will represent the country: Tony Ontam from California, and John Thao, Ker Cha, Houa Thao and True Cha from Minnesota.

Prior to the tournament, the USA team will train in Thailand at the Bangkok Thonburi Takraw Club (BTU) under head coach Umnuey Janthamontree. In the Takraw Thailand league in 2016, team BTU ranked 4th  in the league. Mr. Umnuey Janthamontree is an A-Licensed coach who coached the USA team at the 28th King’s Cup in 2013 and the 30th King’s Cup 2015 when the team got two gold medals in the doubles event in division 2. 

The King’s Cup Sepak Takraw World Championship is held annually by The Takraw Association of Thailand (TAT). It’s the biggest Sepak Takraw tournament which hosts a total of 10 events for men and women. There will be 34 countries competing in the tournament, Including Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, India, Vietnam, USA, Australia, Germany and France, among others.

Team USA will Compete in the  the 30th King’s Cup 2015 in Thailand

Sacramento, CA, USA, April 15, 2015


The USA National Sepak Takraw Team will send three men's players to compete in the 30th King’s Cup Sepak Takraw World Championship 2015 to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from May 4-10, 2015 in Island Hall (3rd floor) at the Fashion Island Mall. The USA National Sepak Takraw Team for the 30th King’s Cup consists of three players: John Thao, the server from Minneapolis, Minnesota; Monty Hansana, the striker from Houston, Texas; and Tony Ontam, the feeder from Sacramento, California. Team USA will compete in two events: the men’s doubles and men’s Regu events. Prior to the tournament, Team USA will be trained at the Bangkok Thonburi Takraw Club under head coach Umnuey Janthamontree and Sepak Takraw players from the club. Mr. Umnuey Janthamontree is an A-Licensed coach who coached Team USA at the 28th King’s Cup in 2013, when the team got a gold medal in the doubles event in division 2. 


About thirty-five countries will be competing in the 30th King's Cup, Including Korea, Singapore, India, Vietnam, USA, Brazil, Australia, and France, among others.


Team USA will Compete in the ISTAF Super Series and the 28th King’s Cup in Thailand

Sacramento, CA, USA, August 22, 2013


The USA Takraw Association will send three players from the National Sepak Takraw Team  to compete in three major global Sepak Takraw tournaments. The first tournament is the International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) Super Series India Tournament, to be held in New Delhi, India from August 29-September 1, 2013. Two weeks after ISTAF Super Series India, the US team will compete in the 28th King’s Cup Championship in Udon Thani, Thailand from September 16-22. Then the team will compete in ISTAF Super Series Thailand, which will be held at Fashion Island Mall in Bangkok, Thailand. The three men of team USA are currently: Tony Ontam from Sacramento, California, who will take the serving (Tekong) position; Jeremy Mirken of Berkeley, California, who will be the setter; and True Cha of St. Paul, Minnesota, who will be the striker for the team. “This is our dream team this season. We have both the youngest and the oldest players in the Super Series on our team. The youngest player will deliver his strength and energy to the team. Moreover, the oldest player will deliver his ten years of experience in international matches to the team. In addition, we have an international footbag star on the dream team. All of this will lead us to win,” Captain America, Tony Ontam, said.


USA National Sepak Takraw Team Will Compete in the Final ISTAF Super Series of the 2011-2012 Season and the 27th King’s Cup in Thailand

Sacramento, CA, USA, June 19, 2012


The USA National Sepak Takraw Team will send five men's players to compete in the Final International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) Super Series Tournament to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from June 28-July 1, 2012 in Island Hall (3rd floor) at the Fashion Island Mall. In addition, the team will send six men’s players to compete in the 27th King’s Cup Championship from July 2-8, 2012, held at the same venue. The top twelve teams in the world will be competing in the ISTAF Super Series tournament. Team USA is currently ranked eighth in the Super Series ranking (see Rankings link at www.sepaktakraw.org) and hopes to move up to the top seven. The USA Men’s Team for the Super Series will consist of five players, including two Tekongs (Ya Her and Eagle Vang), two strikers (Tony Ontam and Jim Thao), and one feeder (Jeremy Mirken). Tony Ontam, the Team Captain, says, “This is our strongest team for this ISTAF Super Series season. Our players have different strengths and we play together well as a team.”


About twenty-four countries will be competing in the 27th King’s Cup, including Thailand, India, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Germany, and the USA, among others. Team USA will compete in both the Men’s Regu event and Men’s Doubles event. Six American men’s players will represent the USA Men's Team at the King’s Cup. The Men’s Regu team will include two Tekongs (Ya Her and Eagle Vang), two strikers (Tony Ontam and Jim Thao), and one feeder (Jeremy Mirken). The Men’s Doubles team will include Tony Ontam, Jim Thao, and Jack Harris.


Sepak Takraw is a exciting net sport which originated in Southeast Asia hundreds of years ago and is hugely popular in Asia; in fact, Sepak means “kick” in Malaysia and Takraw means “ball” in Thailand. The sport combines elements of volleyball, soccer, martial arts, and gymnastics, and is one of the signature events at the prestigious Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games. In the USA, the sport is growing and is frequently played in Southeast Asian communities. Sepak Takraw tournaments are held all over the world and have been featured on ESPN3, Sports Illustrated, CNN.com, EuroSport2, StarHubTV, Solar Sports, and other media venues.

The ISTAF Super Series is being organized by ISTAF in partnership with UFA Sports Asia. Part of the tournament will be broadcast all over the globe.


USA Men's Team Competes at Inaugural ISTAF Sepak Takraw World Cup in Malaysia, Now Ranks 11th in World

Sacramento, CA, USA, August 2, 2011

The International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) World Cup was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from July 21- 24, 2011. The players who represented the USA team at the ISTAF World Cup 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia included Sakwasan Leesomsa, the striker in jersey number 1, Tony Ontam, the server and team captain in jersey number 3, Khamsing Khammanivong, the feeder in jersey number 5, and John Thao, the substitute and server in jersey number 4. There were 24 men's teams and 12 women's teams at the World Cup.

In the men's event, there were 8 groups. Team USA was in group F along with Switzerland and Indonesia. In the first round the USA played against Switzerland and the USA defeated Switzerland 3:0. In the second match of the first round, the USA played against Indonesia. Indonesia, the top seed of the group, defeated the USA 3:0. The USA team was the underdog team but played at their best performance and was able to scare Indonesia in the third set by playing at deuce. The score of the third set was 16:14 points.

In the first round, team USA earned second place of group F and moved onto the second round. In the second round the USA played against Singapore, the top team of group D. The games were very competitive. The two teams played at their best skills in order to try to qualify for the quarter final round. The USA team started the first set with Sakwasan Leesomsa, John Thao, and Tony Ontam. The end result of this match was the USA lost to Singapore 2:3. The Singapore team moved on to the semi-final round but USA had to play off to secure their place for the ISTAF Super Series.

In the challenging play off match for the Super Series, the USA played against Iran. Both teams wanted to secure their seats to qualify for the ISTAF Super Series. The match started with the USA team leading the points and winning in the first and second sets. In the third set, the USA team initially led the points until 14-8, however the USA team wasn't able to close the match. Iran team played very well at the end of the third set and defeated the USA team at deuce. In the fourth set, the Iran team led the game and won the set. To determine the winner of the match, the two teams needed to play in a fifth set. The fifth set was very competitive in terms of points and emotions of players on both teams. Iran played very well in the fifth set, received all of the USA's serves, spiked the ball back and earned points. However, the USA team's coach saw weak points on the Iran team and was able to tell the server of the USA team serve the ball to the striker of Iran's team. So toward the end of the fifth set, the USA was able to control the game and close the set with a clean fighting spirit. The USA coach was the key to winning this set. The end result was that the USA defeated Iran 3:2 and secured the spot for ISTAF Super Series Thailand 2011 in September. The USA men's national team also made history in the sport of American Sepak Takraw by ranking 11th in the world.

Twelve men's teams out of twenty four teams qualified to play in the ISTAF Super Series. There will be five tournaments for the ISTAF Super Series to be played in the following countries: Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and Iran. At the moment the team is getting ready for the first ISTAF Super Series, which will be held in Bangkok from September 8-11, 2011. The tournament will be televised to 67 countries around the globe.


USA National Sepak Takraw Men's Team to Compete in First ISTAF World Cup in Malaysia

Sacramento, CA, USA, July 4, 2011:


The USA National Sepak Takraw Team will send four men's players to compete in the first-ever International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) World Cup Tournament to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from July 21-24, 2011.


Twenty-four countries will be competing for the Men’s and Women's World Champion titles in the ISTAF World Cup, including Thailand, Switzerland, Australia, France, Malaysia, Germany, and the USA, among others. Four American men will represent the USA Men's Team at the event: Tony Ontam, the Team Captain from Sacramento, California; Sakwasan Leesomsa from Methuen, Massachusetts; Khamsing Khammanivong from Lowell, Massachusetts; and John Thao from Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Sepak Takraw is a unique net sport which mashes up elements of volleyball, soccer, martial arts, and gymnastics. The sport originated in Southeast Asia hundreds of years ago and is hugely popular in Asia; in fact, Sepak Takraw is one of the signature events at the Asian Games. In the USA, the sport is growing and is commonly played in Southeast Asian communities. Sepak Takraw tournaments are held in states all over the USA, including Minnesota, California, Massachusetts, and Texas.


The USA Men's Team will be traveling to Thailand to do intensive training starting July 7th, and then heading to Malaysia for the ISTAF World Cup. “For our first ISTAF World Cup, our team's goal is to finish in the top twelve so that we can secure a place in the ISTAF Super Series tournaments, which will be held in Thailand from September 8-11,” USA Team Captain Tony says.


The ISTAF World Cup is being organized by ISTAF in partnership with UFA Sports Asia. The total prize purse for the ISTAF World Cup will be USD $50,000. The ISTAF World Cup will have TV coverage in 67 countries, including the USA, where the event will be shown on ESPN3.com.


For media assistance and more information on the event, please contact media@sepaktakraw.org or visit www.sepaktakraw.org. You can e-mail the USA Team at info@TakrawUSA.com.