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Chatchai vows to win back boxing fans

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Chatchai vows to win back boxing fans

Bericht van luugtaw op wo 19 jul 2017 - 13:23


Chatchai vows to win back boxing fans

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/sports/30321151

sports July 19, 2017 07:48

By LERPONG AMSA-NGIAM
THE NATION

THAILAND boxing team captain Chatchai Butdee has vowed to restore faith in the sport among Thai fans with a strong showing in the SEA Games next month.


The sport lost much of its lustre and support in the country following the national team’s failure to win a single medal for the first time in 40 years at the 2016 Olympics. Since Payao Poontarat won the light flyweight bronze in Montreal 1976, the Kingdom had won at least one medal in every Olympic Games until last year.

The 32-year-old fighter, who won two golds at the 2009 and 2013 SEA Games, was part of the Rio Games squad last year and saw the flop at close quarters.

“Thai fans have lost their faith in amateur boxing after we came home empty-handed last year. So we are determined to win back their trust. We are desperate to see them follow and support us again,” said Chathchai, who is among the Thai gold medal prospects at the SEA Games along with |two-time defending champion Wuttichai Masuk (64kg) and 2015 silver medallist Tanes Ongjunta (52).

“My target is a gold medal and I will do all I can to achieve that. The team is 90 per cent ready. They just need to shed a little weight before the competition starts,” said Chatchai, who will compete in the 56kg category.

Thai Boxing Association’s technical chief Somchai Poonsawat expects all six boxers to reach the finals and has set three gold medals as the target. However, he is wary about the quality of officiating at the Games, with possible judging errors likely to rankle supporters.
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