Teen’s death puts sport in spotlight
The sight of two preteen boys pummeling each other with fists, elbows, knees and feet as a boisterous crowd shouts wagers at each other is considered good, clean sport in Thailand.
However, the death earlier this month of a 13-yearold Muay Thai contender may push forward changes to protect other youngsters in Thai kickboxing. Anucha Tasako died of a brain hemorrhage two days after he was knocked out in a bout on Nov. 10, his 174th match in a career that began at age 8.
His death was a fluke, said some of the sport’s boosters. They said that the referee did not stop the fight soon enough, and that no doctor was available. But even those boys who can carry on fighting are almost guaranteed serious long-term health damage, according to a new report by a Thai doctor.
Thai lawmakers recently suggested barring children younger than 12 from competitive boxing, but boxing enthusiasts strongly oppose the change. They say the sport is part of Thai culture and gives poor families the opportunity to raise a champion that will lift their economic circumstances.
Anucha could occasionally earn as much as 10,000 to 40,000 baht ($300 to $1,200) for each fight he won, which he would give to his grandparents, siblings and uncles, a friend said.
Curler booted from tourney
A gold medalist curler from the Sochi Olympics has apologized for cursing and breaking brooms at an Alberta tournament. Organizers ejected him for what they said was unsportsmanlike behavior because of excessive drinking. Ryan Fry is a member of the team skipped by Jamie Koe that was kicked out of the World Curling Tour’s Red Deer Curling Classic.
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