Footballer Chanathip Songkrasin and golfer Patty Tavatanakit were selected as the best men’s and women’s professional athletes of 2021.
The winners or their representatives received the awards at a ceremony in Bangkok last Friday (Apr 22).
Panipak, 24, was Thailand’s only gold medallist at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with her success in the 49kg division, becoming Thailand’s first ever Olympic champion in taekwondo.
In his last Games appearance, Chatchai-decha had the best Olympic result of his career when he reached the quarter-finals in Tokyo. He also won a silver medal at the world championships.
Chanathip, dubbed “Thai Messi,” played for Japanese side Consadole Sapporo last year when he was included in the J-League’s team of the season before moving to J-League champions Kawasaki Frontale.
He captained the AFF Suzuki Cup-winning Thai side which were named the best team of the year by the Swat.
Patty claimed her maiden LPGA Tour title at the ANA Inspiration, the year’s first major. She also won the LPGA’s rookie of the year title and the Annika Major Award.
Ferrari Fairtex won the best Muay Thai fighter award with three wins and one loss in 2021.
Badminton stars Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai received the best pair award after winning the mixed doubles title at the world championships. They also got the best professional duo award after winning six World Tour titles.
Their coach Tesana Panvisvas was the best coach for professional athletes.
The coach of the year for amateur athletes was national taekwondo coach Chatchai Choi, formerly Choi Young-Seok.
Weightlifter Weerapol Wichuma and badminton player Sirada Rung- pibulsophit were the best male and female youth athletes respectively.
Wheelchair racer Pongsakorn Paeyo received the best disabled male athlete award after securing three gold medals at the Tokyo Paralympics.
The award in the women’s category went to taekwondo player Khwansuda Phuangkitcha, who won bronze at the 2020 Paralympics.