Thais bank on their world ranked women shuttlers in Sea Games
Thailand are once again the strong favourites to retain the women's team gold and the women's singles gold in the 29th Kuala Lumpur Sea Games.
At the 2015 Sea Games in Singapore the Thais won the team gold with a 3-0 win over Malaysia in the final. In the semi-finals the Thais beat Singapore 3-0 while Malaysia downed Indonesia 3-1.
In the women's singles final Busanan Ongbamrungphan defeated Indonesia's Hanna Ramadhini for the gold.
And with three players ranked top 20 in the world rankings the Thais are once again the hot favourites in the women's events in this year's Sea Games.
The badminton events will be held at Axiata Arena in KL Sports City in Bukit Jalil from Aug 22-29.
Thailand's juniors coach Udom Luangphetcharaporn who was in Jakarta recently for the Badminton Asia Junior Championships said he does not see the Thais losing the team gold.
Thailand's Pattarasuda Chaiwan finished runners-up in the Asian Junior meet. Pattarasuda and another junior who played in the Badminton Asia junior meet - Chananchida Jucharoen - are in the Thai Sea Games team.
Busanan is ranked No 12 with Nitchaon Jindapol at No 14 and Pornpawee Chochuwong No 20.
Thailand's top women's shuttler and former world champion and world number one Ratchanok Intanon (ranked No 9) will not be competing in the KL Sea Games as she will be playing in the World Championships in Glasgow. Scotland.