100 Olympic Tidbits: Thailand Strikes Gold

Thailand won its first-ever Olympic gold medal in 1996 courtesy of boxer Somluck Kamsing, who reigned supreme in the 57kg category in Atlanta. Kamsing initially competed in the Olympics in Barcelona four years earlier, where as a 19-year-old he reached the second round where he lost to hometown bet Faustino Reyes. In Atlanta, he methodically beat four straight opponents on points to barge into the finals against Bulgaria’s Serafim Todorov, who narrowly beat a young American fighter named Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in the semifinals (to this day, Todorov holds the distinction of being the last boxer to defeat Mayweather). In the finals, Kamsing held on to beat Todorov, 8-5, to bag his country’s elusive first gold. He was treated like royalty upon his return to Thailand.

Kamsing competed in two more Olympiads but was unable to duplicate his golden success in Atlanta. In the Sydney Games, he won his first two bouts before bowing to eventual silver medalist Rocky Juarez of the United States via RSC-4. His final Olympics, in Athens in 2004, ended swiftly with a first-round loss to Benoit Gaudet of Canada. After his amateur stint, Kamsing briefly competed as a professional kickboxer.

Editor's Note: To celebrate the 100-day countdown to the London Games, we will be publishing 100 tidbits about the Olympics. Come back to Yahoo! PH Sports, as we publish a new tidbit every day.

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