World no. 1 Ratchanok eyes Olympic gold – and romance

World no. 1 Ratchanok eyes Olympic gold – and romance

Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand returns a shot against Sun Yu of China during the women's singles final at the Singapore Open badminton tournament in Singapore on April 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MOHD FYROL  Inset: Nong Mei with boyfriend Pannawich “Tawan” Thongnuam (pptv news)
Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand returns a shot against Sun Yu of China during the women's singles final at the Singapore Open badminton tournament in Singapore on April 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MOHD FYROL Inset: Nong Mei with boyfriend Pannawich “Tawan” Thongnuam (pptv news)

With three badminton championships in three weeks behind her, Ratchanok Intanon, soon to be world number one, is aiming for Olympic gold – and some serious romance.

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Ratchanok now gets a short break from badminton before resuming her busy competitive schedule which culminates in the Rio Olympics later this year. It sounds like she also intends to find time for some serious romance. Here are details from this morning's main Bangkok Post story:

World no. 1 Ratchanok eyes Olympic gold – and romance

Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand (R) poses for the media with runner-up Sun Yu of China after winning the women's singles final. / AFP PHOTO / MOHD FYROL

Ratchanok Intanon’s 18-21, 21-11, 21-14 victory over Sun Yu of China in the women’s singles title showdown was her third successive Superseries win in as many weeks after her triumphs in India and Malaysia. She had earlier captured the Thailand Masters crown in February in Bangkok as well.

The third seeded Thai took home the winner’s cheque of US$26,250 (926,000 baht). A blushing Ratchanok later told true4you that she is now expecting a green light from her father to foster a serious relationship with her boyfriend Pannawich “Tawan” Thongnuam.

Before Ratchanok’s departure for the Singapore Open, her father Winaschai had reportedly set winning the third Superseries title in a row as a pre-condition for giving his consent.

“Tawan sent encouragement every day and I did my job. I hope Dad will give me the green light now,” said Ratchanok with a coy laugh.

The 21-year-old Yasothon-native is the first Thai badminton player to become No.1 in the world singles rankings and the first woman in the world to complete a hat-trick of badminton titles.

Ratchanok, who has now established herself as one of the favourites for Olympic gold, said the win would give her a boost for Rio.

“Now I am more confident of getting a gold at the Olympic Games,” she said.

“I thought that today would not be my day and she was playing well. My body was tired from the three weeks but I just wanted to do my best.”

Exhausted after three weeks of non-stop competition, Ratchanok suddenly found the energy and strategy to defeat defending champion Sun Yu in the final two sets. / AFP PHOTO / MOHD FYROL

Despite losing 18-21 in the first set as the lanky Sun Yu put her superior reach to better use, Ratchanok coasted to a 21-11 victory in the second.

She then claimed the third set 21-14 as her opponent appeared rattled by several errors.

The 2013 world champion added: “I conceded the first set, but it didn’t affect my confidence. I was able to play my game and all I had to do was to wait for an opportunity to wrest the momentum.

“It was in the middle of second set that Sun started committing errors and I gained the upper hand. She tried to engage me in longer rallies but I just adhered to my game plan.

 “Claiming the No.1 spot in the world had been the top priority and I am glad to have achieved that.”

Sun Yu, ranked 14th in the world, told reporters after the match: “I played well at the beginning but I got nervous when I was leading.”

Future champions cheer Ratchanok Intanon at Banthongyord Badminton School in Bangkok’s Bang Khae district as they watch the Thai badminton star compete in the final of the Singapore Open badminton tournament in Singapore yesterday. WICHAN CHAROENKIATPAKUL

Ratchanok will now take a break before defending her title at the Asian Championships in Wuhan, China later this month.

She will later take part in the Uber Cup finals and the Superseries Premier Indonesia Open next month where she is also the reigning champion.

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  • blushing (adj): feeling embarrassed or ashamed, especially involving your face turning red - มีอาการหน้าแดงเพราะเขินอาย
  • boost: something that helps or encourages somebody/something - สิ่งกระตุ้น
  • claim: to win something - มีชัยชนะ
  • coast (verb): to be successful at something without having to try hard - สำเร็จอย่างง่ายดาย
  • commit: to do something wrong or illegal - ทำความผิด
  • competition: a situation in which people or organizations compete, i.e., try to be more successful or better than somebody else who is trying to do the same as you - การแข่งขัน
  • competitive: involving competition - มีการแข่งขัน
  • concede (verb): to give something away, especially unwillingly - ยอม, ต่อให้
  • condition: something that must be done before another thing can happen - เงื่อนไข
  • confidence: being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future - ความมั่นใจ
  • confident: being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future - มั่นใจ
  • consent: to give permission to do something - ยอมให้ทำ, อนุญาต
  • coy: shy or pretending to be shy and innocent, especially about love or sex, and sometimes in order to make people more interested in you - ขี้อาย
  • crown: title; the position of a winner in a sports competition - ตำแหน่งแชมป์
  • culminate: to end with, after developing for some time - สิ้นสุด, ถึงขั้นสุดท้าย
  • defeat: to win a victory over someone in a fight, war or competition - ชนะ, ปราบ
  • defend a title (championship): to win a competition again after winning the previous time it was held - ชนะอีกครั้งหลังจากชนะเลิศครั้งก่อน
  • defending champion: a player or team who won a competition the previous time it was held - ผู้ชนะเลิศครั้งก่อน
  • departure: leaving - การออกจาก
  • details: small facts or pieces of information relating to a situation - รายละเอียด
  • encouragement: words or actions that give someone confidence or hope - กำลังใจ; คำให้กำลังใจ
  • energy: the physical and mental effort that you use to do something - กำลัง, พละกำลัง
  • established: be in a successful position over a long period of time - มีตำแหน่งที่มั่นคง
  • exhausted: extremely tired - เหน็ดเหนื่อย
  • favourite: a person, team, or thing expected to win a competition - ผู้แข่งขันที่มีหวังชนะมากที่สุด
  • foster: to encourage something to develop - สนับสนุน
  • gain the upper hand: to get an advantage - มีความได้เปรียบ
  • hat-trick (noun): three points, goals, etc. scored by the same player in a particular match or game; three successes achieved by one person - การที่ผู้เล่นกีฬาคนหนึ่งๆ สามารถทำความสำเร็จในกีฬานั้นๆ ได้สามครั้ง ในการเล่นครั้งหนึ่งๆ เช่น นักฟุตบอลทำประตูได้ 3 ประตูในเกมเดียว ใช้ในกีฬาเช่น ฟุตบอล, คริกเก็ต, ฮ๊อกกี้
  • in a row (idiom): straight; consecutive; happening one after the other, without interruption - ต่อเนื่อง
  • intend: to plan to do; to want to happen - ตั้งใจให้เกิดขึ้น, วางแผนไว้
  • lanky: having long thin arms and legs and moving in an awkward way - ผอมและสูงเก้งก้าง
  • momentum: progress or development that is becoming faster or stronger - แรงผลักดัน
  • native: someone who was born in a particular place - ชาวพื้นเมือง
  • nervous: anxious about something or afraid of something - กระวนกระวาย
  • opponent: a person or team being competed against in a sports event - คู่ต่อสู้
  • opportunity (noun): a chance to do something, or a situation in which it is easy for you to do something - โอกาส
  • priority: something important that needs to be done first or needs more attention than anything else - สิ่งที่สำคัญที่สุดเป็นอันดับแรก
  • rankings (noun): 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
  • rattled: nervous or frightened - ว้าวุ่น, กระวนกระวายใจ
  • reach (noun): the distance over which you can stretch your arms to touch something; the distance over which a particular object can be used to touch something else - ช่วงแขน
  • reigning champion (noun): the current champion - แชมป์ปัจจุบัน
  • relationship (noun): a romantic connection between two people - ความสัมพันธ์
  • reportedly: as reported (often used for showing that you are not certain that something you are reporting is true) - ตามที่รายงาน
  • resume: to begin again after stopping for a period of time - ดำเนินต่อไปใหม่, กลับมาอีกครั้ง
  • romance: a love story - เรื่องรักใคร่, นวนิยายรักใคร่
  • schedule: a plan that lists all the work that you have to do and when you must do each thing - ตารางเวลา, กำหนดการ
  • seeded (adj): 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 - ถูกจัดให้เป็นผู้แข่งขันชั้นนำ
  • showdown: (in sports) an important match, especially one which decides a championship or who is best between two competitors - การเผชิญหน้า (กับฝ่ายตรงข้าม)
  • strategy: a plan or method for achieving something, especially over a long period of time - ยุทธวิธี, แผนการ  
  • successive: following immediately one after the other - ต่อเนื่องกัน, ตามลำดับ
  • superior: better in quality than somebody/something else; greater than somebody/something else - เหนือกว่า, เยี่ยมกว่า, ดีกว่า
  • take part in (verb): to join and be part of some activity; participate as a participant - เข้าร่วม มีส่วนร่วม
  • title (noun): the position of a winner in a sports or other competition - ตำแหน่งแชมป์
  • triumph: a great victory or success - ชัยชนะครั้งใหญ่
  • victory: winning a competition or a battle - ชัยชนะ
  • wrest: to take something such as power or control from somebody/something with great effort; to take something from somebody that they do not want to give, suddenly or violently - แย่งชิง, ฉกฉวย
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