CHIANG RAI – Hometown mountain bike rider Atthapol Intajak and national junior cyclist Nathalie Panyawan won the men’s and women’s titles at the Singha Mountain Bike Thailand Open on Saturday.
29 year-old Atthapol crossed the finish line first in the men’s 40km category with a time of 1:14.38.55 for his first victory crown after coming second 12 a year ago.
Atthapol told The Nation, “I gave my all out there and the result made me happy. My effort finally paid off after taking part in this competition for a few years.”
It had certainly taken some sacrifice on his part – Atthapol barely had time to ride competitively due to working in his family business (preserved bamboo shoots). Sathit Setchaiyan came second with a time of 1:16.59.99.
In the 20kg women’s division, Samui’s Nathalie Panyawan also claimed her first title in the open category with a time of 59:18.27 minutes ahead of Theerarat Pittayanurak (1:00.37.95)
Nathalie told The Nation that “Although I’m small, it gives me some advantages, especially in the sloping areas. I’m happy to live up to the expectations from fans who were rooting for me along the way.”
Nathalie Panyawan, is an 11th grade student from Theeparatpittaya School in Ko Samui, Thailand
The 17-year-old, who won the Asian Junior Championships cross country in Chai Nat province last year, has now set her sights on making the national squad for the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
“I need to train hard and work on my fitness to make the team,” said the ambitious teenager. “But my ultimate goal is to take part in the Olympics one day. It will be an honor to represent Thailand in such a great event.”
Nation Interviews Nathalie Panyawan