Chiangrai Times – Equestrian Nina Lamsam Ligon is the youngest participant in the eventing but she may be one of the best riders in the world in the discipline. The 21-year-old is younger than the other 74 competitors but her skills are not much inferior to the others, Fuengwich Aniruththewa, secretary-general of the Thailand Equestrian Federation, said yesterday.
“She can win a medal after intensive training,” he said.
Nina, who has been in London since April, is the first-ever Asian woman to qualify for the Olympic eventing.
Nina will ride Butts Leon, a four-star mount who was a champion at the 2008 Games.
In badminton, six Thais will take part in four events with Ratchanok Inthanon one of the best hopes in the sport.
The teenager should beat Thilini Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka and Telma Santos of Portugal in the group stage and advance to the knockout rounds of the women’s singles.
The ninth seeded Thai is looking forward to taking on sixth seed Juliane Schenk of Germany in the round of 16.
“The first round does not too tough for me,” said the three-time defending world junior champion. “I should meet Schenk in the next round. It would be tough because I have never beaten her.”
Men’s doubles pair Bodin Issara and Maneepong Jongjit will be the first Thai shuttlers to compete in London tomorrow.
Also tomorrow, Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkham will play in the mixed doubles.
In table tennis, Nantana Komwong, 32, will face Portugal’s Chinese-born player Lei Huang Mendes in the first round tomorrow.
In her fourth Olympics, if Nantana beats Mendes, she will meet Iveta Vacenovska of the Czech Republic in the second round.
“I think I am lucky to meet Mendes because she is not too tough to beat,” said Lampang-born Nantana.
In shooting, Tanyaporn Prucksakorn, who will compete in the women’s 10m air pistol and 25m pistol, said that the weather could affect her performance.
Tanyaporn, who is in her second Olympics, will compete in the 10m air pistol on Sunday and the 25m pistol on Monday.
The other two Thai shooters at the Games are Naphaswan Yangpaiboon and Jakkrit Panichpatikum.
Also at the London Games is Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit, who will take part in the women’s skeet.