Thailand are confident in Badminton Asia Under-17 Junior Championships
The mighty Thais are confident of retaining the Under-17 boys' and girls' singles titles in this year's Badminton Asia's Under-17 & Under-15 Junior Championships which begin at the Thuwunna National Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar on Wednesday,
Thailand completed a grand treble at last year's meet in Kudus, Indonesia by winning the boys' and girls' Under-17 singles through Kunlavut Vitidsarn and Pattarasuda Chaiwan respectively. The two also combined to win the mixed doubles title as well.
With the inclusion of the two in the team Thai confidence is sky high and coach Udom Luangphetcharaporn, head coach of Banthongyod Badminton School in Bangkok, is confident his charges will retain the titles.
Twelve of the 30-member Thai squad, including Pattarasuda and Kunlavut come from Banthongyod Badminton School and Udom said: "We are here to win...and retain all three titles or possibly add more."
However, in the same breath, Udom was quick to warn the challenge from the rest of the countries as every team is now giving more emphasis to their junior teams with lot of emphasis on development.
"Do not rule out the rest of the countries....they are putting in lot of effort to their junior development and I expect countries like Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Japan, Chinese Taipei to pull off some upsets.
"We have to be wary of such threat. We cannot be over confident and have to be fully focused. Pattarasuda and Kunlavut come to Yangon after winning the India Under-19 Open titles and this is an added boosted to their confidence."
Pattarasuda, is also this year's Asian Junior Under-19 runners-up and won the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games women's team gold medal.
Both, Pattarasuda and Kunlavut, are the top seeds in the Under-17 singles and are the star attraction in the championships which has drawn entries from Indonesia, India, Thailand, Myanmar, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Macau China, Japan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Udom put his charges through their paces during the team's training at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium hours after arriving in Yangon.
"Pattarasuda and Kunlavut are in form and I expect them to keep the momentum," added Udom, former international and Thailand's national coach.