Second-string side for Asian Championship

the Nation

Published on Oct 15, 2003

[BADMINTON] Thailand is sending a second-string team of five to the US$150,000 (Bt5.9 million) Asian Badminton Championships in Jakarta from October 15-19 and saving the best players for bigger tournaments in the following months.

The Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT) has decided to rest their best players for more important tournaments such as the Hong Kong Open, Taipei Open and China Open, all with IBF ranking points and cash prizes.

The five-day meet in Jakarta has no world rankings as there are two Asian championships within the Olympic qualifying period.

"This year's Asian meet is not our main target. We sent our players just to obtain more competition experience," national team manager Sompol Kukasemkij said yesterday.

"Our players seem rather exhausted in recent months as they continually take part in major tournaments, including the Denmark Open and the German Open. I think it's very important to give them a break so they can regain their strength and fitness.

"Also, ranking points which are important for those who want to qualify for next year's Olympic Games in Athens won't be on offer in the Asian meet. We (the BAT) decided to replace our best players with a second-string squad."

The five players are world No 102 Thirayu Laohathaimongkol (men's singles), No 166 Adisak Wiriyapadungpong (men's singles), No 90 Sorajja Chansrisukot (women's singles), No 87 Duang-anong Aroonkesorn and Kulchala Voravichitchaikul (women's doubles) and Adisak and Kulchara (mixed doubles).

As for the next year's Olympic Games, the International Badminton Federation's ranking list on May 1 next year will be used to allocate qualifying places until a total of 29 players in each singles event and 19 places (pairs) in each doubles event are allocated.

Preechachan Wiriyanupappong

The Nation