Unbelievable! 18-year-old Ratchanok Intanon from Thailand played like a veteran today to become the women’s world champion in a thrilling two sets to one win over Chinese top seed Li Xuerui in Guangzhou, China.
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Thailand's Ratchanok Inthanon celebrates a point while playing against P. V. Sindhu of India yesterdat during their women's singles semi-final match at the World Badminton Championships in Guangzhou. She won that match and then went on to become the youngest-ever woman's world champion by defeating number one seed Li Xuerui of China.
Ratchanok is world champ!!
She's only 18, but she is already on top of the badminton world. Ratchanok Intanon played like a veteran today, keeping her composure to become the women’s world champion in a thrilling two sets to one win over Chinese top seed Li Xuerui in Guangzhou, China.
Nong Mei raises her trophy at the podium after defeating China's Li Xuerui during their women's singles final match at the 2013 Badminton World Championships in Guangzhou on Sunday. (Reuters photo)
The fourth-seeded Nakhon Pathom native – a triple world junior champion – came from far behind (12-19) to win the first set 22-20, then lost a close second set 18-21 and then powered by her rival 20-14 in the final set to cause one of the biggest upsets in world badminton this year.
Ratchanok briefly burst into tears after her Chinese rival' s final return landed just wide, perhaps thinking of just how far she had come from her humble beginnings as the daughter of factory workers.
Ratchanok, better known as Nong Mei, learned the game on the factory badminton courts where she was sent to keep her away from cooking furnaces. The owners of the factory producing dessert foods were worried she would be burned by boiling water and hot sugar.
Success come quickly for the young protégé . She won her first title at the age of seven and, in 2009, aged 14, Ratchanok became the youngest-ever champion at the BWF World Junior Championships in Malaysia. She went on to win two more junior world titles.
It's hard to imagine what lies ahead for the youngest-ever woman's world champion.
European doubles champion Gill Clark on Saturday, the day before the final, predicted Ratchanok and her young Indian rival, who is also 18, would take the sport to a new level.
Sindhu, the No. 10 seed, had earlier stunned defending champion Wang Shixian of China in the quarter-finals. However, she was unable to match Ratchanok's power and precision Saturday.
"They have the skills and the shot variation. Consistency used to win in the women's game, but it won't win now," Clark, now a TV commentator, said.
"When you watch the top men players you can't tell which way the shuttle's going to come, and it's exciting. Now it's the same thing for the women."
Adapted from stories in today's Bangkok Post and bangkokpost.com
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boiling: heated to the point where a liquid forms bubbles and turns to steam or vapour - เดือด
briefly: for a short time - ชั่วครู่, สั้นๆ, ในเวลาสั้นๆ
burst into tears: to suddenly start crying - ร้องไห้
commentator: someone whose job is to write about a particular subject or discuss it on television or radio - ผู้วิจารณ์,ผู้ออกความเห็น, ผู้บรรยายข่าว
composure: calmness and control - ความสงบของจิตใจ
consistency: the quality of always behaving in the same way or of having the same opinions, standard, etc; the quality of being consistent - ความสม่ำเสมอ
defeat: to win a victory over someone in a fight, war or competition - ชนะ, ปราบ
defending champion: a player or team who won a competition the previous time it was held - ผู้ชนะเลิศครั้งก่อน
dessert: sweet food eaten at the end of a meal - ของหวาน, ขนมหวาน
furnace: a space surrounded on all sides by walls and a roof for heating metal or glass to very high temperatures - เตาหลอม
humble: not large or special - ต่ำต้อย
imagine: to form a picture of something or someone in your mind - นึกคิด, จินตนาการ, นึกฝัน
level: a position or rank in a scale of size or importance - ระดับ
match: to equal something; to be the same as something else - เท่ากันกับ
native: someone who was born in a particular place - ชาวพื้นเมือง
precision: the quality of being very accurate and exact - ความแม่นยำ
predict: to say that an event or action will happen in the future, especially as a result of knowledge or experience - คาดการณ์ว่า พยากรณ์จากสถิติว่า
protégé: a young person who is helped in their career and personal development by a more experienced person - ผู้ที่ได้รับการคุ้มครอง,ผู้ที่อยู่ในอุปถัมภ์
quarter-finals: competitions between the last eight competitors remaining in a tournament - การแข่งขันก่อนรอบบรองชนะเลิศ
rival: a person you are competing against or opposing - คู่แข่ง
seed: a competitor given a place on the list of those expected to win games in a particular competition because of the way they have played in the past - ผู้ที่ถูกถูกจัดให้เป็นผู้แข่งขันชั้นนำ
semi-final (or semifinal): one of the two games that are played immediately before the last game in a sports competition. The two people or teams who win the semifinals play each other in the last game, called the final, to decide who wins the competition - การแข่งขันกีฬารอบรองชนะเลิศ
shuttlecock: the object that players hit backwards and forwards in the game of badminton - ลูกขนไก่
skill: the ability to do something well, usually as a result of experience and training - ฝีมือ, ทักษะ
stun: to surprise or shock somebody so much that they cannot think clearly or speak - ทำให้ตะลึงงัน, ทำให้งง
thrilling: very exciting - ทำให้ตื่นเต้นเร้าใจ, เขย่าขวัญ
title: the position of a winner in a sports competition - ตำแหน่งแชมป์
triple: three of something - สาม
upset victory: an unexpected win over an opponent thought to be stronger - ชนะโดยไม่คาดฝัน, พลิกล็อก
variation: a change, especially in the amount or level of something, a thing that is different from other things in the same general group - การเปลี่ยนแปลง
veteran: a person who has a lot of experience in a particular area or activity - ผู้อาวุโส
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