St. Paul, Minn. (Nov. 30, 2022) — In early November, the governing body of the International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) invited the Sepak Takraw of USA, Inc., to send a team to compete in the ISTAF 2022 World Cup in Daejeon, South Korea. The competition took place from Nov. 25-29.
“I am proud of our team’s accomplishments in South Korea,” said Lee Pao Xiong, chair of the Sepak Takraw of USA, Inc. “I admire their focus, dedication, and commitment to our sport. They represented the United States well.”
Sepak Takraw of USA quickly recruited some of the best players from six states to be a part of the team to represent the United States with less than a month of the competition. One week before departing for South Korea, the team of eight players met in Minnesota and trained for two days.
Team members include three Hmong players (Jim Thao, Ker Cha, John Thao, and Jim Thao) and three Karen players (Oo Reh, Chris Moo, and Yan Naing Soe), along with team captain Jeremy Nathan Mirken and Team Manager Gao Chang. Members came from Indiana, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, and California.
The USA team defeated Germany, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Iran to clinch two Gold Medals in
Division 1 of the 3×3 and 4×4 segment.
“After our first Gold Medal, I had the most intense feeling, but I knew we had the best players in the court,” said Jeremy Nathan Mirken, team captain. “I mean we were unprepared. We only trained for two days and yet we were competing with teams that stayed together and played together for weeks, if not month.
A community celebration is planned for January 2023. More details to follow later. The Sepak Takraw of USA, Inc., is a non-profit organization who exist to promote the sport of Takraw. Our goals are: 1) to promote the sport of Takraw to the public, 2). to organize youth leagues, and 3). to enter Takraw competitions locally, nationally, and internationally.