Bunch of new stars ready to enthrall fans

Bunch of new stars ready to enthrall fans

Thai women's doubles pair, sisters Nuntakarn, left, and Benyapa Aimsaard, pose during training.
Thai women's doubles pair, sisters Nuntakarn, left, and Benyapa Aimsaard, pose during training.

Thailand's presence in three categories promises to fire up home aspirations at the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2022 which begin tomorrow at Bangkok's Nimibutr Stadium.

A total of 10 Thais will compete in the US$1.5 million season-ending tournament.

The Thais have two representatives each in the women's singles, women's doubles and mixed doubles.

What will enthuse the home fans is the presence of two upcoming pairs who have qualified for the event alongside more experienced compatriots.

The Aimsaard sisters, Benyapa and Nuntakarn, aged 20 and 23 respectively, were not familiar faces on the World Tour before the start of this season.

With their title win at the India Open, the Aimsaards began the year on an auspicious note, and eventually proved they belonged in the top league.

Runners-up at the Korea and Australian Opens, and winners at the Vietnam and Hylo Opens, the Thais have enjoyed a meteoric rise. They defeated their senior compatriots Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai in the Hylo Open title match.

Jongkolphan and Rawinda have had another consistent year, making four semi-finals and a final, and achieved their "dream" of beating the world's best pair, Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan, at the Indonesia Open.

The other emerging Thai pair at the Finals will be mixed doubles duo Supak Jomkoh and Supissara Paewsampran.

Mixed doubles duo Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai will try to secure their third successive Finals title.

The most popular home challenger will doubtless be Ratchanok Intanon, who has the opportunity to win the crown on home turf.

Compatriot Busanan Ongbamrungphan is also in the women's singles draw.

Bangkok, which last hosted the tournament in January 2021, replaces China's Guangzhou as the Finals venue due to Covid-19.

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