Ratchanok to skip Masters
ALL OF the country’s top players except world No8 Ratchanok Intanon will be in action in the US$150,000 Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters Presented by Toyota at the Hua Mark Indoor Stadium in Bangkok from January 8 to 13.
Ratchanok is skipping the event to keep herself fresh for her defence of the Super 500 Malaysia Masters the following week. She also has points to defend immediately afterwards at the Indonesia Masters, when she where finished runner-up last year.
The rest of Thailand’s star players, including defending women’s singles champion Nitchaon Jindapol, will test their mettle in the BWF’s 2019 season-opening tournament which is moving from Supachalasai National Stadium to Hua Mark for the first time.
Nitchaon toppled Pornpawee Chochuwong in January to become the third straight Thai champion in the event, after Ratchanok and Busanan Ongbamrungphan.
On the men’s side, all of the Kingdom’s top players, led by world No16 Khosit Phetpradab, No 17 Kantaphon Wangcharoen and two-time world junior champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn, will try to become the first Thai man to win the Masters title.
Kantaphon is the only Thai to even reach the men’s final –he lost to Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia, the two-time defending champion, in 2017.
Double Olympic champion and former world No1 Lin Dan of China will also compete and will be aiming to capture his second title in Bangkok after the 2008 Thailand Open.