Thai beach volleyball champs aiming high in Bangsaen
At last year’s tournament on Karon beach, Phuket, Varapatsorn and her then-partner Kamoltip Kulna finished in a creditable 13th position, the best finish ever for a Thai team on the World Tour.
This year, Varapatsorn’s formidable partnership with Tanarattha has resulted in a string of successes in Asia. They won three legs of the Asian Beach Volleyball Tour, won the Gold medal at the 2012 Asian Beach Games and have recently returned from Brazil, where they finished 9th in the World University Beach Volleyball Games.
The pair see the event in Bangsaen as a springboard from which to launch an assault on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour. Currently ranked 97th in the world, they are targeting a top-50 world ranking next year. With sufficient support, they feel a top-30 finish is not beyond their reach.
Coach Petcharat Putsorn firmly believes the two players have the ability to compete with the best on the World Tour.
“Today we can compete with the best in Asia and our recent experiences against European and American teams has shown that the gap between them and us has narrowed considerably,” said Putsorn. “What we mostly lack is experience at the World Tour level, and with the right support we can play regularly on the World Tour next year and break into the top echelons of the sport.”
“Our goal for 2013 is to finish the season in the top 50 of the world rankings, and go even higher if the funding is available. However, our first target is to perform well in the Bangsaen Thailand Open powered by PTT in front of our home fans. We would like to achieve a top ten finish. It will be hard, as we are up against the world’s best beach volleyball teams, but it is not impossible as we will have the support of the local fans behind us.”