Stars to lead Thai push for SudirmanCup
Ratchanok Intanon and Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk will join forces to lead Thailand’s challenge at the 2017 Sudirman Cup in Gold Coast, Australia later this month.
The 15th world badminton mixed team championship will be held at Carrara Sport and Leisure Centre from May 21-28.
It will be the first time the biennial event is hosted outside Asia and Europe since its inception in 1989.
Apart from two of the country’s top singles players — world No.11 Tanongsak and world No.8 Ratchanok — the Thai team will also feature in-form mixed doubles duo of Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai.
Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, president of the Badminton Association of Thailand, is confident the team will do well in Gold Coast.
“We’re sending our best players to Gold Coast, led by [singles players] Ratchanon and Tanongsak and the mixed team of Dechapol and Sapsiree,” said Patama.
“Our goal is to reach the quarterfinals and I believe we’re good enough to get there.”
Thailand, who are in Group 1A, will take on Hong Kong in their opening tie on May 22 and then face pre-tournament favourites and 10-time champions China two days later. China have won the last six editions of the tournament.
Group 1B consists of South Korea, Taiwan and Russia, Group 1C includes Japan, Malaysia and Germany, while Denmark, Indonesia and India are in Group 1D.
The top two teams from each group progress to the quarter-finals.
Thailand’s best result at the prestigious tournament is when they reached the semi-finals in 2013 in Malaysia. They lost to South Korea 3-1 and shared third place with Denmark.
Apart f rom Tanongsak, the men’s team includes Khosit Phetpradap, Adulrach Namkul, Suppanyu Avihingsanon, Bodin Isara, Niphitphon Phuangphuapet, Dechapol, Kittinupong Kedren, Trawut Potieng and Nanthakarn Yordpaisong.
Former world No.1 Ratchanok will be joined by Busanan Ongbamrungphan, Nitchaon Jindapol, Pornpawee Chochuwong, Sapsiree, Puttita Supajirakul, Rawinda Prajongjai, Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Savitree Amitrapai in the women’s team.
There will be a total of 28 teams participating in the event. They are placed in three groups based on their respective world rankings.