I owe my achievements in snooker to my mother: Wattana
Thai people are celebrating August 12 as the 90th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, the Queen Mother. August 12 is also commemorated every year as Mother's Day in Thailand.
One person for whom his mother means a lot is snooker legend James Wattana, one of Thailand’s most successful sportspersons. The Nation met Wattana to find out how his mother inspired and paved the way for his achievements.
Many people may recognise Wattana as the best Thai snooker player ever. At his peak, he was acclaimed as among the best in the world, ranking as high as No. 3.
Wattana is quick to acknowledge that he owes his success to the support he got from his mother Ployrung Puoabaom.
Wattana said in the interview that his mother never forbade him from playing snooker even when there was a stigma of gambling around the sport 30 years ago.
He made a few thousand baht winning against adult players before he was sent to practise in England. It was his mother who arranged the funds for his overseas training.
“When I was a child, I saw people playing snooker because my mother opened a snooker club,” Wattana told the Nation.
“I was able to play snooker when I was growing up as my mother did not forbid me. She only told me to not abandon my studies.”
“This was something I did not know when I went to England, when I was 14-15 years old. I thought my uncle had provided the funds.
“It was only later, I came to know that my mother had sold a car to raise funds for me to practise snooker in England.”
Wattana continues to play and enjoy snooker, including winning the gold medal at the 2021 Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam. He also won the Phuket Cup recently, which is the first event of the U Snooker 6 Red Thailand Ranking Circuit 2022.