MALAYSIA failed to end their 33-year wait for glory after losing 2-1 to giants Thailand in the team final of the 2024 Sepak Takraw World Cup at the Titiwangsa Stadium here today.

The home defeat means the national squad failed to clinch a hattrick of wins, having emerged champions in the doubles and regu events by downing archrivals Thailand 2-0 in both finals on Wednesday.

Malaysia last won a team title at the 1991 Manila SEA Games and have had to take a backseat as Thailand flexed their muscles to dominate the event since then.

In today’s final in front of a 2,000-capacity crowd, national coach Ahmad Jais Baharun fielded the first regu of Farhan Adam (apit kiri), Mohammad Syahir Mohd Rosdi (tekong) and Mohamad Azlan Alias (apit kanan), who duly delivered the first point, albeit after a first-set hiccup, by winning 9-15, 15-11, 15-13.

Malaysia’s second regu of Amirul Zazwan Amir, Muhammad Haziq Hairul Nizam dan Muhammad Noraizat Mohd Nordin failed to keep their part of the bargain as they went down 8-15, 5-15 to Thailand’s Wichan Temkort, Kritsanapong Nontakote and Pichet Pansan.

In the decider, Malaysia’s third regu of Aidil Aiman Azwawi, Zuhri Muhammad Zain and Baihakki A’ripin gave the home fans a glimmer of hope by taking a five-point lead.

Undaunted, Thailand switched to a higher gear with the presence of tekong Sittipong Khamchan and stormed to a 15-12, 15-12 win to lift the World Cup trophy.

Meanwhile, Mohd Syahir said the disappointing result aside, they proved that Malaysia have narrowed the gap on Thailand and vowed to exact revenge in the Thai King’s Cup Sepak Takraw Championships in September.

“We will work on improving on our defence and so on. We will not give up and will not make it easy for them in the upcoming tournaments,” he said.

Meanwhile, beaten semi-finalists South Korea and Indonesia finished joint third in the team event.