Thai sailor takes on the world’s best in China

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Fresh from competing in Spain at the Cuidad de Santander Trophy last month, Thai national sailor Kamolwan Chanyim (Bam) represented the kingdom in the Laser Radial Women’s World Championship 2013 in Rizhao, China, which ran from September 27 to October 8.

With the sponsorship of Kingdom Property, the 17 year old two-time national Laser Radial champion competed against 2012 Olympic gold medalist Xu Lijia of China and many other Olympians and elite sailors from around the world.  Bam finished 51st overall.  Singaporean Elizabeth Yin, who Bam will face at the SEA Games in Myanmar in December, finished 46th overall, but Bam beat her in half the 12 races, with two 4th place and one 6th place finishes in the silver fleet.

Kamolwan “Bam” Chanyim (left) with Olympic gold medalist Xu Lijia.Kamolwan “Bam” Chanyim (left) with Olympic gold medalist Xu Lijia.

Participating in the World Championship is important for a sailor’s ranking and to earn points to be eligible for the next Olympic qualification trials in September 2014.

“Even though my position was not that impressive, I proved I could compete with top sailors, starting alongside the best in the world, and I improved my skills and identified areas for improvement to prepare myself for the next Olympic qualification event,” said Bam.

Bam sails at the Laser Radial Women’s Worlds in China.Bam sails at the Laser Radial Women’s Worlds in China.

The new world champion is Tina Mihelic from Croatia, with Tuula Tenkanen of Finland winning the silver and Paige Railey of the USA taking gold.  In challenging conditions, the competition was very tough, with 2012 Olympic medalists Xu Lijia finishing 9th, Marit Brouwmeester of the Netherlands 16th, Evi Van Acker of Belgium 8th, and new European champion Annalise Murphy of Ireland 23rd.