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London Games 2012

Disappointing result didn't dent pride in her champion son

A file photo Mali Pongprayoon on August 10 in Kamphang Phet Province

A file photo Mali Pongprayoon on August 10 in Kamphang Phet Province

On National Mother's Day yesterday, the mother of Thailand's hottest boxer Kaew Pongprayoon was trying hard to fight back tears upon seeing her son declared the loser in his Olympic light flyweight final, despite boxing brilliantly and winning huge applause from the audience.



But in a telephone conversation with her son, she still offered lots of moral support to him.

"Don't be sad. You have done your best," Mali Pongprayoon told Kaew.

The mother also promised to pick up her son at Suvarnabhumi Airport when he returns from the London Olympics.

Many Thai fans were angry at the referees' decision, saying Kaew outboxed China's Zou Shiming, who was awarded the gold medal.

Due to yesterday's loss, Kaew will return to Thailand with a silver medal.

"I am not sad that the referees seem to favour his opponent," Mali said.

Kaew's father Kham Pongprayoon said he was not sad either. "I am glad that my son has done really well," he said.

The couple thanked all Thais for cheering their son.

Mali said Kaew had struggled hard for a long time because his parents were very poor. She said she and her husband had six children together, including Kaew.

"He left home when he was still very young. He had to go from one boxing camp to another for so long. But his perseverance has paid off," the mother said proudly.

Kaew's parents live in Kamphaeng Phet's Klong Lan Pattana district.

In Ayutthaya, Kaew's wife Tharathip Pongprayoon said she was proud of her husband even though he lost the final match.

"I think he has boxed very well, and the world - except the referees - sees him as the winner," she said.

She said if she gave birth to a son, she would name him "London".

"I also hope my son will follow in his father's footsteps," Tharathip said.

She thanked the Thai public for standing by Kaew's side and showering him with support.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, according to Government Spokeswoman Sansanee Nakpong, said Kaew won the hearts of both the Thai and foreign audiences.

Tomorrow, Yingluck will preside over a thank-you party at the Paragon Hall, Siam Paragon, for the Thai athletes who took part in the 2012 Olympic Games.






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