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Veteran Tanasugarn to lead Thai team as they aim to serve up gold medal haul at SEA Games

Veteran Tanasugarn to lead Thai team as they aim to serve up gold medal haul at SEA Games

TENNIS: The Thai tennis team in confident mood as they head to the Philippines with a target to win three gold medals at the SEA Games, which officially kicks off today (Nov 30).

Tennis
By Bangkok Post

Saturday 30 November 2019, 09:00AM


Tamarine Tanasugarn has been lured out of retirement to lend invaluable experience on and off court as Thailand chase a gold medal sweep at the SEA Games. Photo Bangkok Post

Tamarine Tanasugarn has been lured out of retirement to lend invaluable experience on and off court as Thailand chase a gold medal sweep at the SEA Games. Photo Bangkok Post

According to team manager Nitinat Bulan, the team have the right balance of experience and youth to achieve the target of winning three events: women's singles, men's doubles and mixed doubles.

Veteran star Tamarine Tanasugarn was persuaded to come out of retirement to lead the team, with her experience considered invaluable. She will spearhead the team’s efforts alongside Luksika Kumkhum and twin brothers Sonchat and Sanchai Ratiwatana.

"The training was great, especially the last two weeks. All the players trained together. It was a nice session before we all head to the Philippines," Mr Nitinat said. "We also got a great support from the (tennis) association and a private sponsor who provided the training facility for the team."

Mr Nitinat also played down concerns over reports about a chaotic build-up to the biennial tournament which has put the host nation under scrutiny with only a few days to go before the tournament begins.

"I've heard about athletes of other countries who were left stranded at the airport so we've arranged for our players to have our own shuttle bus that will take them from and back to the airport," said Nitinat.

"Food arrangement is another issue. We have to make sure that it will be well taken care of and the athletes will have everything they need."

Fearing a lack of leadership on court, veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn was persuaded to come out of retirement earlier this year to take part in the tournament and lend invaluable experience.

The 42-year-old and former world No.19 is Thailand's only female tennis player to have cracked into the world's top 20.

She has won four singles and eight doubles WTA titles.

Tamarine has also won an Asian Games gold medal and two SEA Games titles, all in the doubles.

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