Ratchanok targets top three

Teenage shuttler Ratchanok Intanon has set a new target of reaching the top-three in the world at the end of the year following her victory at the India Open on Sunday.

  • Published: 30/04/2013 at 01:53 AM
  • Newspaper section: news

Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, left, receives the media award for best manager.

The 18-year-old beat Germany's Juliane Schenk in the final in Delhi to claim her first title of the year and her maiden Superseries win.

"I am very happy to finally get my first title of the year after finishing second at All England and the Swiss Open," said world No.6 Ratchanok, who is expected to move up to No.5 when the new rankings are released.

"The win meant I am now a better player. I will become world No.5 and I hope to end the year in the top three."

The triumph also means a lot for the Intanon family as Ratchanok's father Winaschai will quit smoking.

"He promised he would quit smoking if I won in India," Ratchanok said. "Now that I have won, he has to honour his promise."

Ratchanok's ultimate goal remains winning an Olympic gold medal. She reached the quarter-finals at the 2012 London Olympics and hopes to go a few steps farther at the 2016 Rio Games.

Meanwhile, Charoen Wattanasin said Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul is one of the most qualified people to succeed him as president of the Badminton Association of Thailand.

An election for BAT president is scheduled for July and Charoen has confirmed he will not seek re-election.

"I have been in the position for more than 10 years and I will not seek another two-year term," he said. "In the last election, I promised that it would be my last term and I have to keep the promise."

Charoen said Khunying Patama was among his favourites to succeed him because of her contributions to the sport.

"Khunying Patama is a qualified person to run the association. More importantly, she loves the sport," Charoen said.

"The only problem is whether she is willing to take the position. She may be busy with her business and not have time to run the association."

Khunying Patama became involved in badminton management a few months before the 2010 Asian Games when she was appointed the national team's manager following conflict between the association and several key players.

She also managed Thailand's badminton team at the 2012 Olympics and was named the best manager of 2012 by both the Sports Authority of Thailand and the Sports Writers' Association of Thailand.

Surasak Songvarakulpan, a council member of the Badminton World Federation and secretary-general of the Badminton Asia Confederation, and businessman Pornwut Sarasin are reportedly interested in the post.

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Writer: Kittipong Thongsombat
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