Prayut makes a pitch for Muay Thai

PM tells IOC chief to in­clude it in Olympics

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS -

Prime Min­is­ter Prayut Chan-o-cha has urged In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Thomas Bach to help push for the in­clu­sion of Muay Thai at the 2024 Games.

Gen Prayut dis­cussed the mat­ter with Bach dur­ing their meet­ing at Gov­ern­ment House yes­ter­day.

Bach is in town to at­tend the SportAc­cord 2018 which is be­ing held at the Cen­tara Grand & Bangkok Con­ven­tion Cen­tre and ends on Fri­day.

“The prime min­is­ter asked the IOC pres­i­dent to con­sider push­ing Muay Thai to be in­cluded in the 33rd Olympic Games in 2024 in Paris,’’ gov­ern­ment spokesman Weer­a­chon Sukhon­ta­p­ati­pak told re­porters af­ter the meet­ing.

Prayut also told Bach that Thai­land would bid to host the 2026 Youth Olympics.

Thai­land is con­fi­dent that it would be able to or­gan­ise the multi-sport event as it has hosted sev­eral in­ter­na­tional sport­ing ex­trav­a­gan­zas, Weer­a­chon quoted Prayut as telling Bach.

Bach told the premier that Thai­land had the po­ten­tial to host the Youth Olympics af­ter he vis­ited the Sports Au­thor­ity of Thai­land on Mon­day.

Prayut said Thai­land has been try­ing to de­velop its po­ten­tial in sev­eral as­pects of sports, in­clud­ing fa­cil­i­ties, in an at­tempt to be­come a sports hub in the re­gion, ac­cord­ing to Weer­a­chon.

Thai­land is also pro­mot­ing sports tourism as an op­tion for tourists, the spokesman quoted Prayut as telling the IOC chief.

Mean­while, SAT gover­nor Sakol Wan­napong, who was also present at the meet­ing, said Bach told Prayut that there are sev­eral as­pects which would be con­sid­ered be­fore a sport is ap­proved as a com­pet­ing event at the Olympics.

Among the cri­te­ria are the sport’s world­wide pop­u­lar­ity, his­tory and de­vel­op­ment at the youth level, Sakol said.

He said Bach told the prime min­is­ter that Thai­land had a high chance of win­ning the right to host the Youth Olympics.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, Bach also ex­pressed con­fi­dence that Thai­land could win Olympic medals in sports other than weightlifting, box­ing and taek­wondo, ac­cord­ing to Sakol. “Prime Min­is­ter Prayut said he also wants to see Thai­land win Olympic medals in other sports apart from the three dis­ci­plines,’’ Sakol said.

Thai­land first par­tic­i­pated in the Olympics in 1952 and has won a to­tal of 33 medals in box­ing, weightlifting and taek­wondo.

Mean­while, the Global As­so­ci­a­tion of In­ter­na­tional Sports Fed­er­a­tions (GAISF) and the As­so­ci­a­tion of Na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tees (ANOC) have signed an agree­ment to share the or­gan­i­sa­tion of the World Beach Games af­ter the 2019 edi­tion.

The World Beach Games is a global gath­er­ing that will com­prise 15 sports at the in­au­gu­ral ANOC-or­gan­ised com­pe­ti­tion tak­ing place in San Diego next year.

“We are de­lighted to have reached this agree­ment to work in part­ner­ship with ANOC to en­sure a bright fu­ture for the World Beach Games,” GAISF pres­i­dent Patrick Bau­mann said.

Bau­mann is also chief of SportAc­cord.

WICHAN CHAROENKIATPAKUL

Prime Min­is­ter Prayut Chan-o-cha, right, shakes hands with IOC pres­i­dent Thomas Bach at Gov­ern­ment House yes­ter­day.

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