Phuket keen to host 2015 World Weightlifting Championships

PHUKET: The Thai Amateur Weightlifting Association (TAWL) is considering proposing Phuket to host the World Weightlifting Championships in 2015.

A TAWL delegation visited Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday morning to discuss the idea in a meeting chaired by Phuket Vice Governor Teerayut Eimtrakul.

TAWL director Montol Chartsuwaan said Phuket was among three locations under consideration. The others are Pattaya and Hua Hin.

All three are popular destinations for foreigners, but Phuket seems to have the best potential for hosting international events,” he said.

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V/Gov Teerayut said Phuket never turns down any opportunities to host major events and said all the basic infrastructure was already in place.

Phuket is preparing a proposal to host the World Expo in 2020 and two new gyms suitable for the event will open at Sapahn Hin within two years time, he added.

Olympic heroine Pawina “Gai” Thongsuk, who set a world record at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, told the meeting that Chiang Mai had already hosted the event twice and that holding it in Phuket would be a good way to promote the sport in the southern region.

When athletes go to competitions, they don’t think only about the games but also about tourist attractions they can visit afterwards. That’s why I think Phuket is a good choice. It is already a famous tourist destination, so I think it will be an interesting proposal for the IWF [International Weightlifting Federation],” said Ms Pawina, who was selected as an Olympic Athlete Role Model by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Chethawit Tantiphanvadee, Director of Phuket Sports Association, said that Phuket’s multi-cultural makeup and social harmony should make it a strong contender with the IWF.

About 2,000 athletes and other delegates from 120 IWF member countries are expected to attend the 2015 event.

If Phuket is chosen, it will be asked to come up with 10 million baht in funding.

The TAWL is prepared to provide 100 million baht in funding.

— Sitthipong Nongkaew

Phuket News
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