Nine fighters have been named to represent Thailand in muay, or Muay Thai, at the SEA Games in Myanmar in December.
The Professional Boxing Association of Thailand (PAT), which was assigned by the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) to oversee the selection process, announced the squad for the Dec 11-22 tournament yesterday.
The boxers are six men _ Suriya Lhamontri (48kg), Natthapol Un-nuea (54kg), Pisai Iam-siri (57kg), Ronnakrit Boontri (60kg), Phanupong Tonjad (63.5kg) and Phanupan Tonjad (67kg), and three women _ Sarinyaya Jangwang (48kg), Sasithorn Liangprasert (51kg) and Suchaya Bualuang (54kg).
PAT president Somchart Charernwacharawit, also honorary chairman of the World Muaythai Federation (WMF), said that it was hard to set a target for the fighters to achieve at the SEA Games because a lack of proper preparations.
Coach Srimuang Singsuan-ngern said that the boxers were rising stars whose only experience was fighting at the National Games.
"But if the judging is fair, we can win gold in every weight class," he said.
The announcement was a huge relief for concerned parties after the Amateur Muaythai Association of Thailand (Amat), the only local amateur Muay Thai body recognised by the SAT, refused to send their boxers to take part in the biennial tournament.
Amat and its backers claimed it was improper for Myanmar to pick the Southeast Asia Muay Federation (SEAMF) to organise the SEA Games tournament because it is not sanctioned by the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (Ifma).
Amat is under Ifma and Sakychye Tapsuwan is president of both organisations. The SEAMF is a member of the WMF, Ifma's arch-rival.
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