Badminton Life

Boonsak Hoping to Make Up for Athens Disappointment

Thailand's Boonsak Ponsan came within a whisker of giving his country a badminton medal at the Athens Olympics four years ago.

Boonsak was beaten in two games by Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the third-fourth place play-off, giving the Indonesian the bronze.

His 15-11, 17-16 defeat meant he finished fourth and out of a podium place. However, Boonsak is hoping to make up for his Athens failure by getting in the medals at the Beijing Olympics in August.

And he knows that this could be his last chance, as he said in the Thai media.

"I am quite happy with my recent form, although there is still room for improvement," he said. "As the underdog, I have nothing to worry about. But when you play newcomers or lower-ranked players, you may feel under pressure."

Boonsak is 26 now and is not sure if he will still be competitive when the 2012 London Olympic comes around.

He is dubbed "Superman" by the Thai media after becoming the first Thai badminton player to reach the semi-finals of an Olympic badminton event since the sport received medal status as the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

He has won one tournament this season, the India Grand Prix, with his last Super Series victory being the 2007 Singapore Open. He also won gold at the World University Games, held in Bangkok last year.

One of his best performances came in his home tournament, last month's Thailand Open, where he reached the final.

However, he was beaten by China's world number one Lin Dan, who is among the favourites for the gold medal in Beijing.

He failed to defend his Singapore Open title in June when he was beaten in the second round, with the title eventually going to Malaysia's world number two Lee Chong Wei.

In explaining his defeat, he said: "I did quite well but made some minor mistakes. Also my concentration was not good enough."

He is ranked 14th in the world, although he has beaten most of the players who are currently ranked above him. However, he will need a real superman effort if he is to even emulate his performance of four years ago and reach the semi-finals.

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