ACL injury dashes boxer Thitisan's Tokyo dreams

ACL injury dashes boxer Thitisan's Tokyo dreams

Medal hopeful Thitisan Panmod has been forced to withdraw from the Tokyo Games due to an injury, the Thailand Boxing Association (TBA) said yesterday.

The 20-year-old, who qualified for the men's 52kg class at the 2020 Olympics, suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, TBA technical chairman Somchai Poonsawat said.

He sustained the injury during training and Dr Phaisan Jantrapitak said he needed surgery on his knee.

"The injury is quite serious," said the doctor.

"He has to rest for at least four to five months."

Somchai said he had talks with parties concerned who agreed the boxer should skip the Games.

"We all are sad and disappointed. But for the benefit of the boxer, we have withdrawn him from the Olympics," he said.

"He is still young and has a bright future. The next Olympics [in Paris in 2024] is just three years away."

According to the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT), former world youth champion Thitisan was one of the country's best bets in Tokyo.

Indeed, many experts believed he was Thailand's top hope in boxing at the 2020 Olympics.

With his absence, Thailand will have four boxers at Tokyo 2020 -- Chatchai-decha Butdee, Sudaporn Seesondee, Baison Maneekon and Juthamas Chitrapong.

Boxing is Thailand's second most successful Olympic sport after weightlifting.

Thai boxers have won four gold medals, and weightlifters five.

The TBA aims to bounce back in Tokyo after a disappointing campaign at the 2016 Games in Rio where Thai fighters failed to win a single medal.

It was the first time that Thailand came back home empty-handed in the sport since boxer Payao Poontarat claimed bronze to become the country's first ever Olympic medallist at the 1976 Montreal Games.

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