Thailand's Pitchamon Opatniputh returned home to a warm reception yesterday after her victory at the BWF World Junior Championships 2023 in Spokane, the United States, on Sunday.
The 16-year-old rising star was greeted by her father Pipat and friends upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport.
Pitchamon defeated Chiara Marvella Handoyo of Indonesia 21-11, 21-9 to win the women’s singles title.
With the victory, Pitchamon has returned to No.1 in the latest world junior rankings announced on Tuesday.
She reached the summit for the first time in May.
She was a member of the Thai squad which won the women’s team title at the 2023 SEA Games.
She is currently No.57 in the world senior rankings.
Pitchamon, a Chiang Mai native, is the second Thai player to win the world junior women’s singles title.
Ratchanok Intanon, at 14, was the first to win the crown in 2009. She went on to win it two more times in 2010 and 2011.
She is the seventh Thai shuttler to win the world junior title after Ratchanok (women’s singles, 2009-2011), Maneepong Jongjit and Rodjana Chutabunditkul (mixed doubles, 2009), Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Kittinupon Kedren (men’s doubles, 2014), and Kunlavut Vitidsarn (men’s singles, 2017-2019).
Pitchamon has won three titles in the BWF International Challenge/Series levels last year — the Swedish Open, the Denmark Masters and the Bahrain International.
Nicknamed ‘Pink’, Pitchamon dedicated the junior world title to her late grandfather.
The triumph fulfilled a promise she had made to herself after the death of her grandfather last year.