Bressanone/Brixen - With one jump, 17-year-old Supanara Suksawasti Na Ayutaya (conveniently shortened to S.N.A. on the start lists!) achieved more than what his country has ever achieved in the 61-year history of his National Athletics Federation.
When Supanara landed to a new personal best 7.65 in the second round of the Boys’ Long Jump final here in Brixen/Bressanone he became Thailand’s first ever finalist, medallist and champion in an athletics global event of any age category.
24 hours to get here
“I am really happy,” he reportedly said to his team leader following his breakthrough performance. “Coach, I don’t know how I can explain how much happiness I feel.”
Ekkawit Sawangphol, Thailand’s team leader and head coach for Long Jump at the National Federation can hardly conceal his pride when asked about the background of the sole representative of his country at these World Youth Championships.
“There’s just me and him here,” Sawangphol explains. “We travelled 24 hours to get here.”
Italy is the second country Supanara has visited for his athletics competitions, his first ever trip abroad being to Vietnam for last month’s Under-18 South East Asian Championships where he didn’t win but had to be content with a second place finish.
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