Her triumph followed the success of taekwondo fighter Panipak Wongpatanakit, who won the women’s 44kg gold medal on Sunday (August 17) night.
Rattanaphon was in a class of her own in the women’s 53kg after lifting 81kg in the snatch and 109kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 190kg.
North Korea’s Jong Chun Hui was second with a total effort of 181kg and Tunisia’s Nouha Landoulsi took bronze with a total of 175kg.
“I am very happy to win gold for Thailand,’’ said Rattanaphon. “This gold medal is for all Thais and my parents who have given me support.’’
Bussaba Yodbangtoey, president of the Thai Amateur Weightlifting Association, said Rattanaphon has a bright future.
“She trains very hard. If she keeps improving, she will surely be successful at the SEA Games and Asian Games,’’ Bussaba said.
Weightlifting has been one of Thailand’s most successful sports on the international stage over the years, and will be among the country’s best hopes at the 2014 Asian Games.
On Sunday, Panipak comfortably defeated Azerbaijan’s Ceren Ozbek 21-1 in the 44kg final.
“I am very happy to win the country’s first gold medal of the Nanjing Games,” Panipak said. “I will keep training hard to become successful at the Asian Games.’’
Pimol Srivikorn, president of the Taekwondo Association of Thailand, said: “I feel relieved after Pinapak won gold because she was one of our top hopes.
“I am sure that she has a bright future. There is still room for her to improve and she could be successful at the Asian Games.’’
The Asian Games will be held in Incheon, South Korea next month.
Panipak’s success is a tonic for Thai taekwondo, which was recently hit by what proved to be a groundless claim by an athlete, who accused national coach Choi Young Seok of punching her during a tournament.
Thailand won four gold medals at the inaugural Youth Olympics in 2010, two in badminton and one each in taekwondo and sailing. Bangkok Post