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Winning the women's singles final at the world badminton championships in China was the easy part. The hard part now for Ratchanont Intanon is trying to find time to sleep.
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Ratchanont Intanon is congratulated by her mother Khampan Suwansala, left, and Mother Puk, Kamala Thongkorn. PATTARACHAI PREECHAPANICH
Nong May's busy day
Winning the women's singles final at the world badminton championships in China was the easy part.
The hard part now is trying to find time to sleep. Ratchanok Intanon, the new world badminton champion, has been in constant demand since her arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport on Sunday night.
Ratchanont hasn't had many hours of sleep since becoming women's world badminton Champion on Sunday in China. AFP
Waiting for her was a large media contingent and bouquets of flowers from HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
In her first of many interviews with Thai reporters she said "I feel grateful to Their Majesties the King and the Queen and the other members of the royal family who have supported badminton in the country."
"I will try to win as many titles as possible. My next two goals are to be the world No.1 within two years and to win an Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games."
Yesterday, Ratchanont, or Nong May, as she is known locally, was up early for festivities honouring Her Majesty the Queen on her birthday.
The 18-year-old was among 96 award recipients for showing gratitude to their parents on National Mother's Day – Her Majesty the Queen's birthday – yesterday. The ceremony was presided over by HHR Princess Soamsawali.
Her Majesty the Queen and HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana, a former national team player, gave Ratchanok bouquets of flowers to congratulate her yesterday.
Ratchanont, holding her bouquet from Her Majesty the Queen, talks to Khunying Patama Leesawadtrakul, president of the Badminton Association of Thailand. THITI WANNAMONTA
"It is really a great feeling that my win came just before such a special occasion so I can give my win and the award as a Mother's Day present for my mother and Mother Puk, who is my second mother," Ratchanok said.
"Without their support, I would not have been able to come this far."
Mother Puk is Kamala Thongkorn, owner of Banthongyord badminton school where Ratchanok has been staying and training.
Her mother, Khampan Suwansala, said that after being born in a poor family, Ratchanok was taught to respect people, be polite and work hard.
"We are really proud of her and I want her to be a good example for everybody," Khampan said.
Ratchanok is expected to move to No.2 from No.3 when the next world rankings are announced this week.
After her dramatic win at the world championships, Ratchanont sounded full of confidence.
She reached the quarter-finals at last year's Olympics, winning the first set against China's Wang Xin and building a big lead in the second set, only to run out of steam and lose the match.
"It is completely different now – I am much stronger," she said.
"I was exhausted at the Olympics but I still had a lot of energy in the deciding set at the world championships.
"I am also fitter mentally. As you saw at the world championships, I came back from seven points down to win the first set. I just told myself if I was going to lose then I would not lose without a fight. Fortunately, I won the fight.
"I felt relaxed but my opponent looked under pressure."
Adapted from a story by Kittipong Thongsombat in today's Bangkok Post.
Learn from listening
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bouquet: a collection of flowers, cut and tied together in an attractive way - ช่อดอกไม้
confidence: being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future - ความมั่นใจ
congratulate: to tell someone that you are pleased about their success, good luck or happiness on a special occasion - แสดงความยินดี
constant: continuous; all the time - ต่อเนื่อง
contingent: a group of people who have something in common - คณะ
dramatic: exciting and impressive - ตื่นเต้นเร้าใจ
exhausted: extremely tired - เหน็ดเหนื่อย
festivities: the activities that are organised to celebrate a special event - งานเทศกาล
fit: healthy and strong, especially because you do regular physical exercise - ที่มีสุขภาพดี, แข็งแรง, ที่เตรียมพร้อม
fortunately: used for emphasizing that something good has happened, especially because of good luck - อย่างโชคดี, อย่างเคราะห์ดี
goal: aim; purpose - เป้าหมาย จุดมุ่งหมาย
grateful: a feeling that you want thank someone because they have given you something or done something for you - สำนึกบุญคุณ
gratitude: a feeling of being grateful to someone because they have given you something or have done something for you - ความรู้สึกขอบคุณ
in demand: wanted by many people - เป็นที่ต้องการตัวของหลาย ๆ คน
interview: a meeting (often a public one) at which a journalist asks somebody questions in order to find out their opinions, experiences, etc. - การสัมภาษณ์
lead: the position ahead of everyone else in a race or competition - ตำแหน่งนำ
locally: in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ในท้องถิ่น, ในประเทศ
media: radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group - สื่อ
occasion: a special event, ceremony or celebration - โอกาส, งาน
opponent: a person or team being competed against in a sports event - คู่ต่อสู้
polite: having or showing good manners and respect for the feelings of others - สุภาพ, เรียบร้อย, มีกิริยาเรียบร้อย
presided: to be in charge of a formal meeting or ceremony - เป็นประธาน
proud: feeling pleased and satisfied about something that you own or have done, or are connected with - ภูมิใจ
quarter-finals: competitions between the last eight competitors remaining in a tournament - การแข่งขันก่อนรอบบรองชนะเลิศ
ranking: the position of somebody/something on a scale that shows how good or important they are in relation to other similar people or things, especially in sport - อันดับ
recipients: people who receive something - ผู้รับ
relaxed: calm and not worried - อย่างผ่อนคลาย, ซึ่งรู้สึกสบาย
reporter: someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news - ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว
respect: to accept the importance of someone's rights or customs - เคารพ
run out of steam: to lose energy and enthusiasm and stop doing something, or do it less well - อ่อนแรงลง, ไม่พยายามต่อ
title: the position of a winner in a sports competition - ตำแหน่งแชมป์
under pressure: made to feel anxious about something you have to do - ภายใต้ความกดดัน