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There were tears of joy for Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon as she took the women’s world badminton title beating top seed Li Xuerui 22-20, 18-21, 21-14 in a thrilling 65 minutes women’s singles final. As well as her win she created a number of records, the three time world junior champion is the first shuttler from Thailand to win the world title and the first player in 14 years to break China’s domination in the women’s singles.
Ratchanok said “After scoring the winning point, I could not control my emotion. Memories of all the hard training all these years came flooding back to my mind but I knew it was all worth it, I am now the world champion,” She was over the moon that her victory came as Thailand is celebrating the Queen’s birthday and Mothers day “I dedicate this win to my mother and the Queen. In fact, I am excited as the Queen has invited me to see her. This achievement is great news for my country, especially after the controversy involving our men’s doubles players recently (two Thai players were banned after being involved in an ugly brawl at the Canadian Open on July 21).
Obviously also delighted was her coach Xie Zhuhua of China who left China for Thailand twenty one years ago. When he arrived in Thailand he gathered a few children from a poor neighbourhood and trained them. One of those children was Ratchanok who went on to become the youngest world junior champion at only 14 years of age in 2009. She has now set her sights on winning the Olympic gold in 2016 in Rio de Janerio.
“This win has given me a lot of confidence. Before this I was doubtful whether I could beat the Chinese players. But now I know I can and I will continue to improve,” said Ratchanok.