Thailand will send two Pattaya-based windsurfers to the Rio Olympics next month with hopes of bringing gold back to the kingdom.
Former Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome, the honorary president of the Windsurfing Association of Thailand, announced July 15 that Nattapong Phonoparat and Siriporn Kaewduang-ngam will compete in the Aug. 5-21 games.
Their respective men’s and women’s RS:X competitions will be held Aug. 8-18.
The pair will travel to Brazil with head coach Aran Homrareun on July 25 to acclimatize the athletes to the time zone, weather and competition site.
In addition to battling international competitors, the two Thais also face dual health threats.
Scientists have found drug-resistant super bacteria in Guanabara Bay, the sailing venue, due to the daily dumping of hospital waste and household raw sewage into the rivers and ocean. In addition, mosquitos carrying the Zika virus also pose a danger to athletes competing in this year’s Summer Games.