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NONG SONG BRINGS BACK AN OLYMPIC MEDAL

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					26    GH Bank Housing Journal




             “NONG SONG”
             BRINGS BACK
          AN OLYMPIC MEDAL
         On August 20, 2008, 17-year-old high school senior, Butree Puedpong or “Nong Song”
       surprised everyone by winning a silver medal in the women’s Taekwondo 49-kilo category.




 Nong Song is one of more than 30 national          Reporter, Preechachan Wiiyanupappong added
 Taekwondo team members supported by the            the following:
 Government Housing Bank’s Bt51 million
 three-year grant that began in 2005.               At the Athens Games four years ago, Yaowapa
                                                    Boorapolchai or Nong View captured all Thai
 The Nation headline said it all:                   hearts after she fought with guts to win an
                                                    historic Olympic bronze in taekwondo, but
 “A new chapter of Thai taekwondo history           here in Beijing, Buttree fared better as she
 was written yesterday when gallant exponent        already went a step better than what Yaowapa
 Buttree Puedpong handed the Kingdom an             had done in Athens, only to go down to world
 unprecedented Olympic silver-medal from            champion Chinese Wu Jingyu 0-1 in the heart-
 the women’s under 49-kg class”                     felt showdown.


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                                                          STATE-OF-THE-ART HOUSING BANK              27




Teenager Buttree overpowered Cuban Day-             “I did my best and had no pressure taking on
nellis Montejo, bronze medal in the 2005            the world champion in the final round. I did not
world meet, 1-0 in the first round and tamed        fear her, but I just wanted to make sure every
Vietnamese Truc Tran Thi Ngoc 2-1 in the            kick would earn a point. That’s why I have to be
all-Asians quarter-finals. In the semi-finals,      more careful fighting with her,” said Buttree,
the Thai girl beat Venezuelan Dalia Contreras       former world junior champion and the SEA
Rivero by superiority (countback from ringside      Games gold medalist.
judges) after the match ended in a 2-2 draw
at full time of three rounds and no score in        “I think coming this far in my first Olympics is
the sudden death.                                   a very great success. As for handsome cash
                                                    incentives I will receive from generous sup-
Against Wu, who also won the 2005 Universiade,      porters, I intend to buy a new house for my
Buttree had a tough going. She suffered on a        parents, but I have yet to know where the
powerful kick by the strongly-built Chinese to      construction will be.”
trail 0-1 in the first round. The remaining two
rounds ended in a scoreless tie. Wu eventually      “Though returning with an Olympic silver, I will
took the gold after narrowly beating Buttree 1-0.   still live a normal life. Nothing changes much.




                                                               “Nong Song” brings back an Olympic medal
28    GH Bank Housing Journal




 After finishing my Grade 12 at Satree Maha-      However, she became interested in taekwondo
 prutaram School, I plan to further my studies    while waiting for her sister during training
 at Kasetsart University, but have yet decided    sessions. Although Nong Song’s mother was
 what faculty I will study in.”                   reluctant at the onset to allow her “little girl” to
                                                  participate in taekwondo, she soon found out
 Buttree or “Nong Song” was born in October 16,   how good she was in the sport.
 1990. She lives in Samut Prakan, a Bangkok
 suburb with her parents and an older sister      She quickly became a National School cham-
 Passorn who was also a national team Tae-        pion at the 21st National Youth Sports Com-
 kwondo athlete.                                  petition in 2005 and was selected as an elite
                                                  member of the National Taekwondo team in
 Nong Song’s mother encouraged her to             2006 at 15. Nong Song became a World Junior
 participate in sports because the daughter       Champion in 2006 in Viet Nam.
 was an asthmatic child. While her elder sister
 participated in taekwondo, Nong Song began       Taekwondo Olympic places are allocated by
 swimming competitively.                          country rankings. As one of the top taekwondo




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                                                          STATE-OF-THE-ART HOUSING BANK               29

countries in the world, Thailand was given
three places for the Beijing Olympics.


Nong Song was only able to gain the third
spot because the initial favourite for the place,
Yaowapa Burapolchai, the Athen’s games
bronze medalist was injured and forced to
retire.


Even then Nong Song’s place was not guaran-
teed. She had to face-off with Mae-num Chird-
kiatisak, the 2007 World University Games           The rest is history.
gold medalist in an elimination bout to secure
the vital third Thai taekwondo Beijing Olympic      GH Bank is happy to have been and will
spot.                                               continue to be there every-step-of-the-way.




                                                                “Nong Song” brings back an Olympic medal

				
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