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Watch: Thai cave boys showcase their football skills at first public appearance after rescue

The Wild Boars team looked healthy and happy as they answered questions about the nine days they spent in the dark before being discovered by members of an international rescue team

world Updated: Jul 18, 2018 19:29 IST
Agencies
Agencies
Chiang Rai, Thailand
Thai Cave Boys,Wild Boars,The Wild Boars team
Some of the twelves boys, dramatically rescued from deep inside a Thai cave after being trapped for more than a fortnight, play with soccer balls before a press conference in Chiang Rai on July 18, 2018, following their discharge from the hospital. (AFP)

Twelve boys and their football coach who were rescued after being trapped for over a fortnight in a flooded Thai cave showcased their skills on a mini football field on Wednesday at a press conference beamed around the world.

The “Wild Boars” team members looked healthy and happy as they answered questions about the nine days they spent in the dark before being discovered by members of an international rescue team.

A packed crowd greeted the youngsters -- some of whom were trapped in the cave for 18 days -- after they were discharged from hospital in Chiang Rai, and watched as they played with footballs on a small makeshift pitch before taking their seats.

“It is a miracle,” Wild Boars footballer Adul Sam-on, 14, said of the rescue, as the boys were gently quizzed about their terrifying experience.

The team had no food at all until they were found deep in the complex, surviving only on water that dripped down the side of the cave.

The daring Thai-led international effort to rescue the team captivated the world after the football team walked into the cave on June 23 and were trapped by rising floodwaters.

After nine days without food, they were found emaciated and huddled in a group on a muddy ledge by British divers several kilometres inside Tham Luang.

Rescuers debated on the best plan to bring them out but ultimately decided on a risky operation that involved diving them through waterlogged passages while they were sedated to keep them calm, and carrying them out in military-grade stretchers.

Not even the foreign cave diving specialists who took part were sure the mission would work. Many expressed huge relief after the final five were rescued on July 10.

First Published: Jul 18, 2018 19:29 IST