Thai paralympic athletes are hoping to go one step beyond the national team’s able-bodied Olympic athletes. Wheelchair racer Prawat Wahoram leads the Thai challenge
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Thai ambassador to the UK Kitti Wasinondh, centre, hosts a welcome party for the kingdom’s squad at a London restaurant yesterday.
Prawat chases historic gold medal
Thailand target two titles as Games begin
LONDON : Prawat Wahoram will be seeking a historic Paralympic gold medal at the 2012 tournament which begins today.
Thailand's most successful Paralympic athlete, wheelchair racer Prawat has won five golds, four silvers and one bronze since Sydney 2000.
If he is successful in London, the 31-year-old will become the first athlete to win gold in four consecutive Paralympic Games, according to Thailand's delegation chief Osot Pavilai.
"His best chance is in the 5,000m wheelchair racing," said Osot.
The Sa Kaew native will also compete in other individual and relay events.
Thailand hope to win two golds with the other contenders being Saisunee Jana (wheelchair epee fencing) and Saichon Konjen (100m wheelchair racing), according to Osot.
"We are at full strength despite the ever-changing and cold weather here," he said.
There are 50 Thai athletes – 39 men and 11 women – competing in nine sports at the London Paralymics.
Thailand have won nine golds – five at Sydney 2000, three at Athens 2004 and one at Beijing 2008.
Kitti Wasinondh, Thai ambassador to the UK, yesterday hosted a reception party for the Thai contingent at a Thai restaurant.
"I am worried about the athletes' health because of the weather," Kitti said.
The ambassador said he had talked to several athletes and felt they all were in a confident mood.
"A large number of Thais here will go to cheer them," he said.
About 4,200 athletes from 165 nations will be vying for 499 gold medals in 20 sports. The tournament ends on Sept 9.
ambassador – a senior official who lives in a foreign country and represents his or her own country there เอกอัครราชทูต
host – to provide what is necessary to carry out a special event จัดงาน
squad – a team in sports ทีม
historic – of historical importance ที่สำคัญในประวัติศาสตร์
target – to try to get a particular number or amount ตั้งเป้าหมาย
title – the position of a winner in a sports competition ตำแหน่งแชมป์
athlete – someone who is good at sports and takes part in sports competitions นักกีฬา
consecutive – following one after another in order ติดต่อกัน
delegation – a group of people chosen or elected by a group to represent them คณะผู้แทน, คณะบุคคลที่เป็นตัวแทนของคนกลุ่มใหญ่
chief – a person with a high rank or the highest rank in a company or an organisation หัวหน้า, ผู้นำ
native – someone who was born in a particular place ชาวพื้นเมือง
individual – involving single people, in this case competitors, rather than a as part of a group ตัวบุคคล, ส่วนบุคคล
relay – an event where something is passed from person to person, each one going a certain distance การส่งต่อ หรือวิ่งผลัด
contender – someone or something who competes with other people or things for a prize คู่แข่ง
epee fencing – a version of fencing (การฟันดาบ) with the sword having a heavier and stiffer blade
reception – a formal party at which important people are welcomed or congratulated งานตอบรับ
contingent – a group of people who have something in common คณะ
confident – being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future มั่นใจ
mood – the way you feel at a particular time อารมณ์
vie – to compete strongly with someone ลงแข่งขัน
tournament – a competition for teams or single players การแข่งขัน