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Thai Badminton Star Ratchanok Medal Quest Ended at Tokyo Olympics

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Thai Badminton Star Ratchanok Medal Quest Ended at Tokyo Olympics

Thai Badminton super star Ratchanok Intanon ended her Tokyo Olympics campaign on Friday, with a three-set quarter-final loss to rival Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan, leaving no Thai contenders in the badminton competition.

Ratchanok, ranked sixth in the world, took the first set 21-14 and was leading in the second before the Taiwanese star came back to win 21-18. The world No.1 then clinched the decider 21-18.

Ratchanok could not hold back her tears of disappointment as her coach tried to comfort her after the match that lasted 67 minutes at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza in Tokyo.

It was her 16th defeat against 14 wins over Tai.

Followers on social media were quick to give Ratchanok moral support after seeing her display of emotion, with many saying she had lost the match but won the hearts of all Thais with her fighting spirit.

Ratchanok thanked all staff and Thais who had given her support throughout the competition, and admitted her opponent outplayed her when the match came down to the wire.

“She was more decisive in the final minutes,” Ratchanok said, adding that the momentum had shifted away from her from the middle of the second game, which she led 14-10 at one point.

Meanwhile, Thai boxer Sudaporn Seesondee vowed to put up the fight of her life to guarantee at least an Olympics bronze medal after reaching the women’s 60kg quarter-finals at the Tokyo Games on Friday.

Unfortunately, Thailand will have to wait for at least three years to win an elusive Olympic medal in badminton at Paris 2024 after Ratchanok Intanon lost 2-1 to Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying in the quarter-finals.

Sudaporn, a silver medallist at the 2018 world championships, produced a masterful performance to beat Simranjit Kaur of India 5-0 in the round of 16.

She is the third Thai to book a spot in the Olympics quarter-finals at Tokyo after Chatchai-decha Butdee and Jutamas Jitpong.

The Udon Thani native will meet Caroline Dubois of Great Britain in the last eight next week with the winner assured of at least a bronze.

Sudaporn is now determined to win her next bout on Tuesday against 2018 Youth Olympics and world youth championships victor Dubois, who upset 2019 world championships bronze medallist Ellis Rashida of the US 5-0.

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