Special support sought from govt for four disciplines
The Olympic Committee of Thailand (OCT) secretary-general, Charouck Arirachakaran, plans to propose to the government to lend special support for four sports with potential to yield medals in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Games.
Charouck named boxing, weightlifting, taekwondo and badminton as the disciplines that should be financially supported more than sports with less chance to yield medals in the 31st Olympiad.
"You have to accept that some athletes have taken part in three Olympics and never come close to winning. But boxing, weightlifting and taekwondo have always been productive. That's why we need to give extra help to these sports,'' said Charouck, who would propose his idea to the OCT General Assembly meeting next month.
Thailand failed to win an Olympic gold in 16 years, reaping just two silvers from boxing and weightlifting and a bronze from taekwondo in the recently concluded London Games.
The OCT key man Charouck considered badminton as the other discipline to yield a medal in Brazil despite the fact that no Thai badminton players have won a medal. But the badminton team was one of the most improved teams at the London edition as players reached the quarter-finals in three categories - the men's doubles, mixed doubles and especially women's singles teen sensation Ratchanok Inthanon. "I'm quite positive our country will win a medal from badminton in the next four years. The girl [Ratchanok] was just five points away from beating the world No 2 when she is just 17. When she becomes 21, she is going to make it,'' Charouck said.
However, the OCT executive said his plan would have no effect on other sports, which will still receive regular support from the government.