Thailand’s new snooker world champion gets hero’s welcome, calls for govt support
Thailand’s newly crowned women's snooker world champion was greeted by a crowd of fans after touching down at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Sunday night.
Nutcharut “Mink Saraburi” Wongharuthai, 22, became the first Thai woman to win the World Women's Snooker Championship after defeating Wendy Jans of Belgium 6-5 in a nerve-shredding final in Sheffield, England last Tuesday.
Nutcharut and her manager Borrirak Jongchotchatchawal were greeted at Suvarnabhumi by a reception committee led by Billiard Sports Association of Thailand president Sakda Rattanasuban and a fan club.
Nutcharut thanked the officials and fans for their warm welcome, adding she was happy since winning the world title would boost Thailand’s reputation among international snooker players.
She also asked the government to stop calling snooker a gambling sport, because Thai players such as “James” Wattana Pu-Ob-Orm, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Noppol Saengkham had boosted the country’s image in the industry.
She also thanked Rattana Bundit University for supporting Thai snooker players until they graduated and Hi-End Snooker Club for helping with her travel expenses.
Billiard Association chief Sakda praised Mink’s discipline, hardworking mentality, patience and talent.
He also backed her to win her third World Amateur Snooker Championship when this year’s competition gets underway in Qatar from March 1-9.
"Nutcharut will go to Britain in April to participate in the World Snooker Championship qualifying round of 144 players," he added.