Thai girl, 11, world's youngest drone racing champion

Thai girl, 11, world's youngest drone racing champion

Wanraya Wannapong, 11, centre, with her first-place cheque after winning the women's event at the FAI World Drone Racing Champion in Shenzhen, China, on Sunday. (Federation Aeronautique Internationale photo)
Wanraya Wannapong, 11, centre, with her first-place cheque after winning the women's event at the FAI World Drone Racing Champion in Shenzhen, China, on Sunday. (Federation Aeronautique Internationale photo)

An 11-year-old Thai girl, Wanraya Wannapong, became the world's youngest drone racing champion when she won the women's final at a world competition in Shenzhen, China, on Sunday.

The Royal Aeronautic Sports Association of Thailand (Rasat) on Monday congratulated the girl through its Facebook page.

Representing Thailand, Wanraya competed in the FAI World Drone Racing Championships - a major event certified by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), the world's governing body for air sports.

It was held in Shenzhen, China, from Nov 1-4.

Racers wore virtual reality headsets while steering their drones through gates, obstacles and along multi-level racing tracks. During the races, lights changed colours to indicate the speeds of the racing drones.

According to FAI, the event brought together drone racers from around the world at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre.

In May last year Wanraya, also known as "Milk", became Thailand’s drone racing champion at the Thailand Drone Grand Prix 2017 in Bangkok at the age of 10. She was the only female and the youngest competitor.

Her father Arwut enjoyed flying remote controlled helicopters and allowed his daughter to try her hand. To his surprise,  she could do it right away. Then, after only two months of training, Wanraya started taking part in competition drone racing.

In May this year, Wanraya won the women's final at the 2018 China Drone Racing Open in Shenzhen. It was a test event for the first FAI World Drone Racing Championships from Nov 1-4.


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