26 July 2021: Taekwondo queen Panipak Wongpattanakit insisted she had no plans to retire, because the Olympic gold medalist returned to a hero’s reception in Phuket on Monday.
The nation’s first taekwondo gold medalist and her South Korean coach Choi Young-Seok arrived at Phuket International Airport alongside Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Rathchakitprakarn to an emotional welcome by Sports Authority of Thailand Governor Gongsak Yodmani, Taekwondo Association of Thailand president Pimol Srivikorn and Panipak’s father Sirichaiwong.
When she noticed her father, Panipak knelt in entrance of him, carried out a wai and offered him with the gold medal.
The 23-year-old from Surat Thani had a fast chat with ready reporters and introduced she had no plans to throw within the towel regardless of realizing her Olympic dream.
“I’m nonetheless in good situation. There’s no motive why I ought to retire,” stated the taekwondo warrior, who has received each main worldwide occasion together with two World Championships and two Grand Slams.
“The subsequent Olympics is simply three years away. After successful the gold, I’ll nonetheless have a excessive rating for the following Olympics. I need to hold difficult myself,” stated Panipak, whose new objective is to win her second Olympic gold.
The Kingdom’s new sweetheart will now quarantine for 14 days in Phuket and assist promote the federal government’s Phuket Sand Box marketing campaign to spice up tourism after the Covid-19 journey ban. Panipak – or “Tennis’,’ as she is named by her household – plans to pamper herself with seafood, spicy delicacies and cake after months of exhausting coaching and strict weight-reduction plan for the Olympics.
Asked why she was in tears throughout the medal ceremony, Panipak replied, “I’ve have been by way of a lot of robust occasions in my life and typically I’ve felt drained to dying. But as I mirrored on these moments, it made me proud.”
Along with the medal and fame come riches for Panipak, who turned a millionaire in a single day in Tokyo. The Olympic gold earned her a Bt12 million incentive bonus from the National Sports Development Fund. And she shall be rewarded with many extra tens of millions by industrial firms, identical to different Thai Olympic gold medalists previously.
Meanwhile, her coach Choi Young Seok will lastly obtain Thai nationality as a reward from the federal government. The South Korean has dreamed of turning into a Thai citizen after spending 19 years right here.
“I might respect it if it occurs as quickly as potential,” the nationwide workforce coach advised the media. “I’ve spent nearly 20 years right here. I lastly made it. It’s good to make Thai individuals joyful,” stated Choi, who admitted that he had been strict with Panipak since self-discipline is a very powerful facet of his teaching.