Sinphet Kruithong wins Olympics medal as grandmother dies watching

Published 5:51 am Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A celebratory occasion for a Thai Olympic bronze medal winner’s family has turned somber — the athlete’s grandmother collapsed and died minutes before he won the third place in the 56-kilogram weightlifting category in Rio.

A mourning ritual was being held Tuesday at the home of Sinphet Kruithong, whose grandmother was among scores of family and friends watching his event live on a big television screen set up for the occasion in his village in northeastern Thailand.

Amid the festive atmosphere Monday — with villagers cheering and clapping as Sinphet heaved the weights up — 82-year-old Subin Khongthap collapsed. She did not live to see her grandson win his medal.

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Sinphet, 22, was the second Thai to win a medal at the Rio Games, following Sopita Tanasan, 22, who won a gold medal for weightlifting in the women’s 48 kilogram category on Saturday.

–The Associated Press