Trang: The 21-year-old Pannawit Thongnuam who is also the boyfriend of former women’s singles World Champion Ratchanok Intanon finally lifted his maiden International Challenge title on Saturday.
Thongnuam rallied from 10-16 in the second game to upset No. 1 seed Riichi Takeshita of Japan 21-19, 24-22 by claiming the men’s singles title in the Smiling Fish International Challenge.
“I’m extremely happy to win my first International Challenge title in front of the home fans. The final was a 50-50 match, because Takeshita had beaten me quite easily in Japan Open last year. Takeshita likes to play fast attacking game, and I was able to slow him down today,” said Pannawit.
“I’m older and more experienced now. I tried not to rush things and figured out a smart way to finish the match,” added Pannawit.
Thongnuam also received a congratulation text from Ratchanok Intanon after the match.
“She is very happy with my win. I am inspired by her success and she has asked me to keep my focus on badminton and to keep working hard,” said Thongnuam who had been playing with an ankle injury throughout the tournament.
In men’s doubles, Malaysia’s professional men’s doubles pair and No. 4 seeds Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub/Jagdish Singh lost to unseeded Chinese pair Jun Kang/Zhang Sijie 15-21, 15-21 in the final.