Thailand’s 21-year-old badminton star Ratchanok Intanon said Thursday she was “100 percent confident” she would bring home a medal in the Rio Olympics, despite slipping from her top ranking last week.
Ratchanok, known in Thailand as Nong May, was crowned the world’s number one women’s singles player last month after sealing three successive Superseries titles in as many weeks.
But she was bumped back to second place, behind Spain’s Carolina Marin, after an elimination in last week’s 2016 Badminton Asia Championship.
Ratchanok nevertheless vowed to bring home Thailand’s first ever badminton Olympic medal.
“I am 100 percent confident I will get a medal,” she told AFP from the court on the outskirts of Bangkok where she practises daily.
“The whole world will be watching. I want to get a medal, no matter which medal it is,” she added.
Olympic success would mean redemption for Ratchanok, who was crushed after she was eliminated in the London 2012 quarter-finals.
She became badminton’s youngest ever world champion the following year.
Her Chinese coach, Xie Zhihua, said he had faith in the “fearless” player, who has consistently set and reached her sporting goals.
“Now the only thing she lacks is an Olympic medal,” he said. – Agence France-Presse