Dominant Ratchanok elects not to defend world title
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Dominant Ratchanok elects not to defend world title

World No.10 Ratchanok Intanon confirmed she will not defend her title at the 2012 World Junior Badminton Campionships in Chiba, Japan later this month.

Ratchanok Intanon beat Nichaon Jindapon.

The three-time defending champion repeated her decision after wininng the women's singles title at the SCG All Thailand Championships 2012 at the Mall Bangkapi yesterday.

"I will not play at the world junior this year," said 17-year-old Ratchanok. "But I might join the event next year when it is held in Bangkok."

The decision comes as a disappointment for the Badminton Association of Thailand, who had hoped for Ratchanok to become the first player to win the title five times in a row. At 17, triple- winner Ratchanok is eligible to play two more years at junior level. Next year's edition will be held in Thailand.

BAT president Charoen Wattanasin said he respected Ratchanok's decision. The 17-year-old star is now focusing on her professional career.

Charoen believed that no one will be able to break Ratchanok's record of wining three consecutive titles. In her absence, Busanan Ongbumrungpan and Sitthikom Thammasil became the best bets for the country at the annual tournament to be held in Chiba from Oct 25-Nov 3.

"We will send 16 players to the event with Busanan and Sitthikom being our best bets," Charoen said.

"However, we will not put a pressure on both of them to follow in Ratchanok's footsteps."

In the finals of the SCG All Thailand Championship yesterday, top seed Ratchanok, who represented Banthongyod badminton club, defeated Nichaon Jindapon of Royal Star club 21-12, 21-14 in the women's singles. It was the second title for Ratchanok who took home the winner's cheque of 44,000 baht. Her first title came in 2009.

In the men's singles, Pisit Poodchalard, also from Banthongyod club, claimed a 21-19, 21-15 victory over Sitthikom Thammasil from Enjoy Club and recieved 44,000 baht for his maiden title.

Charoen said that this year's edition was more successful in terms of both audinces and players. While the stadium was fully packed, a number of young players showed their talents and that proved to be healthy prospects for the national team.

"It is a great success and hopefully we can increase the prize money in the coming years," Charoen said. "I am sure we will have more choices for the national team."

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