Maj.Gen. Intarat Yodbangtoey, IWF 1st Vice President and Mrs. Boossaba Yodbangtoey, AWF General Secretary, TAWA President paid a visit to the IWF Secretariat office in Budapest. They were both warmly welcomed by Dr. Tamas Ajan, IWF President in his office.
Dr. Ajan congratulated on the 60th Anniversary of the TAWA and expressed his appreciation for the efforts TAWA does for the weightlifting sport.
This year, Thailand has the opportunity to host the IWF World Championships in Pattaya, 18-17 September. As the guests reported, preparations of the event have already started as they intend to organize a memorable event.
“We hosted many Championships before in Pattaya, but this is the first time we organise an IWF World Championships. I think this event will be better than ever. It is also a qualification event for Tokyo 2020, so we expect an exceptionally high interest from athletes and countries from all around the world. Pattaya is a beautiful resort, so it will be a pleasure for both participants and spectators to come there,” said Madam Boossaba.
“We also gave a report for Dr. Ajan on another major event, the EGAT’s King Cup, which we are staging in February.”
She continued describing the importance of weightlifting in Thailand:
“Weightlifting is the most popular Olympic sport in our country. It is easily accessible for a wide range of the population; so many young people see it as a possibility for a fruitful career and to improve their life standards. We have many successful weightlifters for this reason, with memorable results such as Olympic, World and Asian medals.”
“In Thailand, winning an international event can be a fundament of your future. Hard work is rewarded. Our athletes are well known and loved, they make a good living. Olympic Champions, World Champions and Asian Champions get financial support from the Thai government. “
“The situation of women in sport greatly improved in the last decade, it is not dominated by men any more. As a matter of fact, there are more Thai women than men Olympic Champions. Nowadays, we have excellent women coaches and sports leaders as well.”
Upon mentioning the huge improvement of gender equality, we asked the TAWA President of her early years of career and if it was hard for her to rise to a leadership role as a woman.
“I had to do my very best to get where I am now. I feel very proud as after my forthcoming as a sports leader, many women felt encouraged to pursue their ambitions and follow my example. I like to think of myself as a role model for young ladies not only in weightlifting but all sports in Thailand. “
Expanding the spectrum of the conversation, the AWF General Secretary shared how she sees the position of Asian weightlifting in a global context.
“Asian weightlifting is in an elite position. With the AWF, we are currently working on improving our methods and communication on an international level. We reached the point when everybody can effectively communicate with the Asian Federation and TAWA as well.”
As a closing of the conversation, Mr. and Mrs. Yodbangtoey shared their personal impressions about the Hungarian capital, Budapest, referring to it as a wonderful and unique city, as well as their experiences in the IWF Secretariat office.
“This is the first time we visited the IWF Secretariat. It’s good to see so many hard-working colleagues. We are especially impressed by the high number of women working here. It is good to see people who are so enthusiastic and devoted with their duties.”
Maj. Gen. Intarat highlighted how important for them Dr.Ajan’s advice and expertise was on the way to make Asian weightlifting stronger and more effective.
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