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Suit up for the SEA games

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Thanyapura’s top swimming stars are hoping to bring home a bounty of medals when they dive into the pool and compete at the Southeast Asian Games (SEA) next week.

Swimming sensations Peerapat ‘Garfield’ Loessathapornsuk, 18, Patarawadee ‘Ploy’ Kittiya, 21, Kornkanjana ‘Golf’ Sapianchai, 17, and Tanakrit ‘Nok’ Kittiya, 19, will come up against the best in the region at the SEA Games from June 6 to 11.

Between the four of them, they will compete in ten races over a seven-day period, while representing both Thailand and Thanyapura on the international stage.

More than 4,700 athletes from 11 countries will travel to compete at the 28th SEA Games, which are held every two years. Athletes from 35 different sports will participate in the games.

“It’s going to be a very intense week where a lot of exciting things will happen. I expect to come back with a handful of medals. The best outcome would be to return with two individual gold medals, a gold medal for the relay and a couple of bronze medals,” said Miguel Lopez, head of aquatics at Thanyapura.

“I wish our athletes the best of luck at the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore next week. They have all worked very hard to get to this point and I know they will do Thanyapura proud,” added Thanyapura President and Chief Executive Officer Philipp Graf von Hardenberg.

Garfield will be competing in the 1500 freestyle, while Ploy will race in the 100m, 200m butterfly and 4 x 200m freestyle relay. During the week, Ploy can also qualify to compete in an additional race – the 4 x 100m independent medley.

Golf will come up against some of the best in the 4 x 100m freestyle, the 50m butterfly and 4 x 200m freestyle. Nok, who has already gained a qualifying time for the 2016 Rio Olympics, will swim in the 400m and 1500m freestyle.

The swimmers also have their eyes on Olympic glory and are hoping to gain qualifying times at the SEA Games. Garfield has received a wildcard to the Olympics from Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) – the international aquatics governing body – but Ploy and Golf will both have to fight for their places.

— Lauren Wafer-Kiddle

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Thailand

Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Airways

After nearly 9 months on the ground due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with problems balancing their accounts, Thai Airways will resume flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as Bangkok and Phuket later this month. The flights will start back up on Christmas day.

Flights from Bangkok to the 2 key tourist provinces have been grounded since April 1. Starting December 25, the airline will run 3 flights a week on both routes. A source told the Bangkok Post that the new schedules will run until at least February 28.

Thai Lion Air, Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Smile, VietJet Air and Bangkok Airways have returned to the domestic skies since July and slowly adding frequency to their routes.

In addition to resuming the domestic flights, the Thai Airways is relaunching some international flights from January 1 to March 27 including weekly flights to Frankfurt, London, Copenhagen, Sydney, Seoul, Manila, Taipei and Osaka. Flights from Bangkok to Tokyo will be available 3 times a week and flights from Bangkok to Hong Kong will be available every day.

Thai Airways has been tackling bankruptcy throughout the lockdown and trying to make up for more than 300 billion baht in losses. Since many flights were suspended due to travel restrictions, Thai Airways has tried to make money by business ventures on the ground, like a pop-up restaurant serving in-flight meals and selling off unwanted equipment from their warehouse. There also disposing of much of their older fleet, including all of their Boring 747-400s.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

97 police officers investigated for fiddling Covid-19 payments

Maya Taylor

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97 police officers investigated for fiddling Covid-19 payments | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.newsbeezer.com

97 police officers, from 41 police stations, are currently being investigated for an alleged scam involving Covid-19 payments meant for officers who worked extra shifts during the crisis. The case was assigned by national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk in November, when it came to light that some officers may have fraudulently claimed allowances meant for others.

In one incident, an officer responsible for transferring extra payments to police on the southern island of Phuket transferred the money to his own accountant instead. At the time, the transfer was dismissed as a mistake (in his favour), with the officer in question receiving a warning, and payments then made to the qualifying officers.

Wissanu Prasatthong-Osot from the National Internal Affairs Police says the investigation should reach a conclusion within the next 10 days.

“The result of the investigation should be ready in 10 days. Currently, 97 officers in 41 police stations ranging from non-commissioned to generals are under investigation for being involved in the swindle. The bureau aims to provide justice to all policemen involved. After the investigation concludes, the victims will receive their full allowance, while the offending officers will be punished under the law and disciplinary standards.”

Nation Thailand reports that a full list of alleged offenders has been sent to Suwat, with Wissanu promising that none will escape prosecution.

“The National Police chief had also ordered the transfer of offending officers at the commander and sub-commander levels out of their areas as per the investigation procedures.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce to propose Guangzhou-Phuket tourism route

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce to propose Guangzhou-Phuket tourism route | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 77 kaoded

A tourism route from Guangzhou, China to Phuket could help the island province recover from the recession brought on by the pandemic and lack of foreign travel, according to the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The president of the organisation, Narongsak Puttapornmongkol, says they plan to submit a letter proposing the route under a travel bubble scheme to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

The Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce is proposing a travel bubble with around 20 cities in China with no recent coronavirus infections and considered to be at a low risk of spreading the virus. Travellers from Guangzhou recently entered Thailand on the new Special Tourist Visa. It was the second flight of international tourists since travel restrictions were imposed in late-March.

“We believe that the Travel Bubble and the quarantine reduction will resolve the tourism business, which is a huge economic opportunity to recover.”

Once a vaccine is widely available, Narongsak suggests that those who wish to Thailand could also present their vaccination certificate or examination reports from the place of origin. He adds that the mandatory state quarantine period is likely to be reduced.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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