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Olympic Games: Orawan Paranang stepping higher

Saturday 19 June

A most competent performance earlier this year in mid-March at the Asian Qualification Tournament in Doha, secured Orawan Paranang a place in the women’s singles event in Tokyo 2020.

Play commences in the Metropolitan Gymnasium on Saturday 24th July.

In Doha, there was little to stop the 23-year-old left hander, in a group organised South-East Asia competition, she accounted for Indonesia’s Siti Aminah (11-5, 11-3, 11-9, 11-5), followed by success in opposition to the Philippines duo of Jannah Romero (11-8, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4) and Rose Jean Fadol (11-13, 11-3, 11-5, 11-2, 11-6).

Now in Japan’s capital city she moves at least two steps higher.

She has been present at World Championships, whether team or individual since making her first appearance in 2015 in the Chinese city of Suzhou. Likewise, following the 2016 German Open, she was a regular face on the ITTF World Tour, and at Challenge Series tournaments after a debut on home soil in 2017 in Bangkok.

However, she has yet to make her mark on the international stage; unfortunately for Thailand they do not appear in the Tokyo women’s team even, a competition in which Orawan Paranang could well have proved most effective.

Alongside Suthasini Sawettabut, who will also be competing in the women’s singles event in Tokyo, in 2020 they reached they reached the women’s doubles semi-final on the ITTF World Tour in Hungary and the final at the ITTF Challenge Series Plus tournament in Portugal. Similarly, the previous year, they were the runners up in Indonesia.

Competing in Tokyo is a major step forward for Orawan Paranang; nothing to lose, she becomes the fourth player to represent Thailand in the table tennis events at an Olympic Games.

It is the second time when Thailand has been represented by two players at an Olympic Games but with Suthasini Sawettabut also present, the first occasion when two players have competed in the same event, the women’s singles.

Nanthana Komwong was on women’s singles duty on four consecutive occasions commencing in 2000 in Sydney; Padasak Tanviriyavechakul and Suthasini Sawettabu competed in the respective men’s singles and women’s singles events in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

Editor: Ian Marshall

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