Busanan Ongbumrungpan: 'The first thing I want to do is break into the top 10 world rankings. Then I want to qualify for the 2016 Olympics and win gold.' – Chan Boon Kai / THE STAR
ALOR SETAR: The true mark of a future champion is the ability to look forward even after facing defeat.
Thailand’s Busanan Ongbumrungpan was on a mission to claim a World Junior Championship title this year.
However, her hopes of making her second final ended prematurely when she lost to China’s He Bingjiao 11-21, 11-14 in 33 minutes in the quarter-finals at the Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium on Wednesday.
“I’m so sad now. I want to cry ... but I won’t,” said a dejected Busanan after her match.
The defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for the 18-year-old who was playing in her last championships.
Last year, she had to settle for the bronze in the girls’ singles having lost to eventual winner Akane Yamaguchi in the semi-finals in Bangkok.
But despite her quiet exterior, the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games and Asian Juniors silver medallist has a plan firmly in place and is ready to execute it now that she will be joining the big leagues.
“My junior year is ending and now I can move on to world class badminton. I’ll be a young girl but I think age does not matter and I think I can play some good badminton,” said Busanan, who already has two Grand Prix Gold titles - the 2012 Malaysia Open and 2013 Dutch Open titles.
“The first thing I want to do is break into the top 10 world rankings. Then I want to qualify for the 2016 Olympics and win gold,” she added.
Thailand already boast four female shuttlers in the top 20 of the world rankings. There is Ratchanok Intanon (No. 4), Porntip Buranaprasertsuk (No. 9), Nichaon Jindapon (No. 14) and Busanan at No. 18.
Ratchanok was the youngest ever World Champion in 2013.
“It’s so good for Thai badminton to have four women singles players in the top 20 and two in the top 10. What Ratchanok has achieved shows that nothing is impossible.”