New Delhi: Ace Thai shuttler Boonsak Ponsana on Friday came hard on his country’s government and said people at the power back home simply turn their back to badminton when it comes to extending financial support to the sport.
Ponsana feels the government’s lack of attention to badminton often comes in the way of Thai shuttlers participation in international tournaments.
“The government does not see badminton as a great sport even though we have at least 20 players in the top 100 rankings in various categories. They support football, golf and tennis but when it comes to badminton they simply keep themselves out of it,” said Ponsana, who progressed to the semifinals of the Badminton Asia Championships here.
Ponsana, seeded fifth, beat 10th seed Muhammad Hafiz Hashim of Malaysia 21-9 17-21 21-10 in the quarterfinals on Friday to set up a semifinal clash against second seeded Lin Dan of China.
“The government spends only Rs 4 million annually on the national team which is not enough to keep shuttlers like me regularly participating in international tournaments,” added Ponsasa, ranked ninth in the world.
The 2007 Singapore Super Series champion, who trains under coach Udom Luangphet Charaporn, also held the Thai government responsible for his inability to participate in the the Thomas Cup final qualifiers and said he is now targeting the Asian Games to be held in Guangzhou later this year.
“I want to play in the Asian Games and will try my best to reach the finals,” Ponsana said.
Asked about the difference in the style of play of top players like Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei, Ponsana said, “Lin is very swift and agile on the court, he has a power game but Lee Chong Wei has a great defence.
“If a player can inculcate the skills of both the players, he or she can be invincible.”