“We’re delighted and very proud that we will compete at the World Championships for the first time. We worked extremely hard over the past few years to be one of the top teams in Asia.”
With the wave of excitement swarming around the Madrid 2018 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) World Championships, the man in charge of Thailand’s blind football team is putting his players through intense training for their debut.
Prajak Ritnuch steered Thailand to World Championship qualification after achieving bronze in their debut at the Asian Championships last December in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They defeated South Korea with a brace from their renowned striker Kittikorn Baodee to attain their first podium finish.
“We’re delighted and very proud that we will compete at the World Championships for the first time. We worked extremely hard over the past few years to be one of the top teams in Asia,” said Ritnuch.
Thailand have been completing rigorous technical and physical training camps in the capital city - Bangkok - since February, and Ritnuch expects his country to secure a position in the top half of the sixteen-team competition.
“We want to finish in the top seven of the World Championships and do well in the Asian Championships next year to secure a ticket for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.”
The World Championships will feature sixteen of the world’s best teams. As well as the title on offer the competition is also an important step on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Thailand was placed in Group A and will face hosts Spain, Turkey and Morocco. Their first game is the championship opener against Spain on 7 June following the opening ceremony.
The quarter finals and play-offs begin on 13 June with the final taking place on 17 June.