PHUKET: The two Thai teams that will compete in the World Junior Pétanque Championships at the end of next week reckon they should be favorites to win the tournament, based on their performance in training and their experience in overseas competitions. Prarot Thongpratet, vice-secretary of the Thailand Pétanque Association, said, “Thailand has been runner-up three out of the five times we have competed in the junior championship. This year, we are even more confident of a win. “The toughest opposition will come from France, Belgium and Spain; these countries have each won the World [senior] Pétanque Championships twice. They probably have strength in depth. Thailand has won only once.” The competition, from October 28-30, is also seen as a bonus for the tourism industry in Phuket. Phumisak Hongyok, Mayor of Phuket Town, said, “It is an honor for Phuket to be able to host the championships, and it will definitely introduce more people to the island. “Preparations are on schedule,” he added. “The improvements made to the Saphan Hin Stadium have turned out well. All that’s needed now is a little fine-tuning.” In addition to Thailand, France, Belgium and Spain, teams will come from Algeria, Cambodia, Denmark, Finland, England, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Japan, Laos, Morocco, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Seychelles, Tunisia and the United States.
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