Borikhamxay ducks out of National Games badminton competition

Borikhamxay province will not be sending a badminton team to compete at the 11th National Games to be hosted by Xieng Khuang province from November 11-21.

Borikhamxay province players’ in action in the mixed doubles event at the recent National Assembly President’s Cup in Vientiane.

Most of the province’s top players do not train regularly, so they are not ready for the games. 
Deputy Director of the Borikhamxay provincial Education and Sports Department, Mr Bounmak Phandanouvong, said the most talented players are young and lack experience at the national level so they are not ready for competition.
It would be difficult for such a young team to win any medals because of their lack of experience, Mr Bounmak said.
In 2014, the Borikhamxay badminton team won three gold medals at the National Games.
If more money were available, Borikhamxay would ensure regular training and better facilities for its up-and-coming young players. 
The province does have one experienced badminton player in the form of Ms Soutchay Xayxana, a former national team member. But she was unable to join the Lao badminton team taking part in the SEA Games in Malaysia in 2017 after she was involved in an accident.
A native of Borikhamxay, she is 26 years old and works for the family business. She and her friends often get together to play friendly matches but she no longer competes in big events.
She won three gold medals in the women’s singles, women’s doubles and women’s team events at the 10th National Games in Oudomxay province, won gold medals at the 9th National Games in Luang Prabang province in 2011, at the National Games in Champassak province in 2008, and at the National Games in Savannakhet province in 2005. 
In the past she also competed in the National Assembly President’s Cup and in various international events but this year she was not ready to take part in the National Assembly President’s Cup.
But Borikhamxay does have its sights on medals in other sports and teams will compete in petanque, taekwondo, wushu, judo, karate-do, sepak takraw, boxing, chess, crossbow, top spinning, boat racing and track and field events at the National Games.
The teams are training hard in the run up to the games and hoping to improve on their rankings in past years.
At the previous National Games, Borikhamxay province came seventh overall with 17 gold, 9 silver and 17 bronze medals.   

By Sangkhomsay Bubphanouvong
(Latest Update September 11, 2018)

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