Bangkok Post

Stars to lead Thai push for SudirmanCu­p

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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.

 ?? AFP ?? World No.8 Ratchanok Intanon.
AFP World No.8 Ratchanok Intanon.

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