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Thailand make history at World Championships

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Thailand make history at World Championships

By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
The Nation

 

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Ratchanok Intanon and Kantaphon Wangcharoen kept the Thai flags flying high in the TOTAL BWF World Championships following their impressive wins in the quarter-finals in Basel on Friday.

 

2013 champion Ratchanok had no problem picking off Yeo Jia Min of Singapore 21-17 21-11 to book a semi-final date with 2017 winner Nozomi Okuhara of Japan.

 

“I was happy with the way I played today. I didn’t have any problem at all. As for the semi-finals, I hope to continue playing this way,” said the seventh-seeded Ratchanok.

 

Twenty-year-old Kantaphon also caused a stir in the tournament as he knocked out the world No 2 Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan 21-16 11-21 21-14 to become the first Thai man to reach the semi-final of the World Championships.

 

“It’s a dream come true to reach the semi-finals. In the second game I lost my focus, so my coach told me to try something different.  I’m quite surprised to come this far,” said Kantaphon after beating the Taiwanese for the first time in five attempts. He will play wither Chen Long of China or Anders Antonsen of Denmark for the final spot.

 

“No matter who I play it will be tough. It’s the semi-final now, nothing is easy. I will try to do my best, and try not to think too much ,” the world No 15 said.

 

Chen, the current Thailand Open said: “I was leading 7-3 in the final game and lost focus. I need to realize what happened. He is so fast today which made it difficult. His smashes were difficult for me to play.”

 

Thailand also had more representatives in the semi-finals when Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai toppled Robin Tabeling and Selena Piek of the Netherlands 21-11 21-17. 

 

For the first time in the history, Thailand have players in three semi-finals. 

 

Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/sport/30375297

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2019-08-24

 

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Glad to see Thais doing well in a sport where they have always been strong.

 

With increasing stature and build of young Thais, I would like to see the rise of rugby here like in Japan, especially in the technical colleges. It might stop them thinking the only way to deal with their rivalry is using ping pong bombs, swords and firearms.

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