Thai sailor juggles studies and sport to strike gold
Thai youngster balances studies and sailing to finally strike gold
It has been a tough year for Thai sailor Kamolwan Chanyim.
The 19-year-old had entered university last year and had to juggle studies with preparing for this year's South-east Asia (SEA) Games.
She had a mission in mind too.
After winning a silver at the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia, she took home only a bronze from the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar and she knew that she had to deliver in Singapore.
And deliver she did, as she left her rivals trailing in the women's Laser Radial event at East Coast Park.
Kamolwan won all eight races from Saturday to Monday, and was already assured of the gold medal before yesterday's final race.
It was also double joy for the international business management undergraduate, who, just a few days ago, learned that she had scored 3.96 out of a perfect four for her semester.
"I'm so happy," she told The New Paper yesterday. "It's not been easy for me to train and study at the same time, but I did well for both."
"I got only one B+," she chimed, referring to her exemplary results.
Strong winds prevented her from winning the last race, which would have given her a clean sweep.
Yesterday, she crossed the line behind silver-medallist Victoria Chan of Singapore and bronze-medallist Khairunneeta Afendy of Malaysia.
Team manager Sunan Monthardpalin was proud of Kamolwan.
"It was so difficult for us to plan our training schedule, due to her classes and exams," he said.
"But she has shown great determination and proven that she can get the best results, as long as her heart and mind are in it."
Chants of "Malaysia boleh" could be heard, as supporters celebrated Nur Shazrin's win in the women's Under-19 Laser Radial final.
It had been a close fight among her, Thailand's Kanapan Pachatikapanya and Singapore's Samantha Yom over three days of competition.
"I never expected to win but, before the final race, my coach kept telling me, 'You can, you can'," said the 17-year-old, who picked up sailing when she was just eight.
Kanapan won the silver and Samantha settled for the bronze.
"She has shown great determination and proven that she can get the best results, as long as her heart and mind are in it."
- Thailand team manager Sunan Monthardpalin, on Kamolwan Chanyim