Thai soccer boys attend religious ceremony

Thai soccer boys attend religious ceremony

All the while, "we heard the water rising towards us", the Guardian quotes coach Ekaphol Chantawong as saying.

"We were discussing whether we wanted to explore the cave and, if so, how we would have to swim", the 25-year-old coach, a much-loved mentor to the boys, recalled. "So we dug holes to find a way to escape and stopped when we were exhausted". And it turned out to be true.

Authorities organized a tightly controlled press conference with the boys the same evening in which they recounted drinking water that dripped from rocks and trying to dig their way out during the first nine days before they were located by British divers.

The 12 boys and their soccer coach who were rescued from a cave in northern Thailand have appeared at a news conference, entering to applause from the media and classmates. They were all pronounced healthy aside from a few minor infections, reports said.

The Wild Boards soccer team had been trapped in the tunnel complex for 9 days before they were finally found by Navy SEALs. "I have more patience, endurance, tolerance", he said.

"I had no strength", said Titan, the youngest teammate.

Several said they want to become professional soccer players, while four said they want to emulate the heroes who saved them.

"I offered them help but they said they did not need help".

Twelve boys and their football coach who survived a highly risky and dramatic rescue from a flooded Thai cave were discharged from hospital Wednesday ahead of a press conference where they will tell their incredible story for the first time. When they went to leave, they realised they were trapped.

The boys have already said they would become Buddhist novices to honour former Thai Navy SEAL diver who died in the cave while making preparations for their rescue.

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The boys, who sported crisp haircuts, had gained an average of 3kg (6.6 lb) each since the rescue, and rain through confidence-building exercises ahead of Wednesday's event, the hospital director said.

This contrasted to an average of 4kg lost during the more than two weeks they were trapped.

On 18 July, the high-spirited team put on their Wild Boars t-shirts and left the hospital for the first time to speak to the media.

The hospital officials said that the survivors can go back and lead a normal life now while a psychologist asserted that "the boys were quite obedient during therapy".

The boys, their coach and some rescuers will answer a series of questions journalists submitted in advance, officials said.

"'Do not be defeated" The boys said they had no food with them when they went into the cave on June 23 and had initially chose to spend just an hour underground.

One of the boys called it a "miracle" when two British divers discovered them.

An global team of rescuers using diving equipment and pulleys extracted the 12 boys and coach through the tight, flooded passageways over three days, concluding July 10. The boys were rescued in three groups.

Banphot Konkum, an uncle of 13-year-old team captain Duangpetch Promthep, who's nickname is Dom, has spent the past week since his rescue preparing for this day.

"We tried to dig out as we thought we can not only wait for authorities to get us", coach Ekkapol Chantawong told reporters.

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