Thais targeting four gold
[AMATEUR BOXING] Thai boxers have targeted four gold medals at the 28th King's Cup International Amateur Boxing Championships, which start today at The Mall Ngamwongwan's MCC Hall.
General Taweep Jantararoj, president of the Amateur Boxing Association of Thailand (Abat), is certain the Thai boxers, who
have been training intensively and improving their skills in leaps and bounds, can win four gold medals and the prestigious King's Cup.
According to Taweep, Thailand's four gold medals are expected to come from Athens Olympics bronze medallist Suriya Prasarthinpimai, 2001 SEA Games gold medallist Suban Pannon, Somjitr Jongjorhor, a former world champion and the Kingdom's lone boxing gold medallist at the Asian Games in South Korea, and the experienced Pichai Saiyothai.
However, he admitted that the Thai boxers will face some tough challenges in the tournament due to the presence of strong fighters from powerhouses Russia and China, which are fielding a full quota in the 10 classes.
"We lack good boxers in the heavyweight categories, which will give us dim chances of winning the overall crown and the King's Cup.
"Many boxers in my team have been injured while practising, so we have to replace the injured boxers with those from Team B," Taweep said.
The Abat president also gave all the Thai boxers a warning. He said if they produce below-par form in the championships they will be relegated to compete for Team B. Also, their daily training fee will also be reduced from Bt500 to Bt300 and they may be dropped from the national team for December's Asian Games in Doha.
"The association is still searching for some rising stars to compete in Team A and if they make the cut for Team A, they then enhance their chances of joining the team for the Asian Games," he added.
Meanwhile, a total of 16 teams have so far entered the championships, while a few more nations will probably join the event despite the fact that they have yet to confirm.
The opening ceremony will be held today at The Mall Ngamwongwan, with acting Deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptapanlop as the guest of