Thailand Open: Gift to Remember

Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai and Supanida Katethong were the toast of the home fans after acing their respective events at TOYOTA Thailand Open 2024.

Kititharakul/Prajongjai’s 21-14 21-14 win over Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma/Amallia Cahaya Pratiwi ended Thailand’s eight-year wait for women’s doubles champions after Puttita Supajirakul/Sapsiree Taerattanachai triumphed in 2016.

A teary-eyed Prajongjai said post-match: “This is one achievement we’ve dreamed about for a long time. And so many years that Thailand couldn’t celebrate winners in women’s doubles in our own backyard. This is an excellent experience.”

Kititharakul/Prajongjai had previously lost in three semifinals and finished runners-up in 2021. They were desperate not to let another opportunity slip.

“We had to win,” said Kititharakul, whose nickname is ‘Gift’. “We are closer to the end than the start of our careers so you never know if this is the last chance to do so.

“It’s also rare to have family, siblings and parents cheering us on at the venue. It was great to win for them in front of them. We will remember these happy memories forever.”

Earlier, Paris 2024 Olympic Games-bound Katethong set the tone for her best friends with the takedown of the top-seeded Han Yue in straight games. The world No.16 had defeated third seed Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in the quarterfinals and second seed Wang Zhi Yi in the last four.

“I’m glad I won my first Super 500 at our home stadium. I’m so happy!” exclaimed the 26-year-old after the 21-16 25-23 result. “At this tournament, I’ve learned to be focused. I need to do away with my impatience. The Olympics will be a different ball game. I must improve my mental strength.”

Thailand, however, couldn’t complete a dream day as mixed doubles top seeds Taerattanachai and Dechapol Puavaranukroh lost the last match of the session 21-12 12-21 18-21 to Guo Xin Wa/Chen Fang Hui.

Results (Finals)


“When we were juniors, a lot of people said it would be difficult to overcome the Chinese and Indonesians but our results and the way we’ve been playing definitely give youngsters back home belief we can go out and beat the world’s best in doubles as well, not just singles.” – Chirag Shetty after he and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy won the tournament for the second time

“This is one of my career’s best showings. I know some top players didn’t come but this title means so much and boosts my confidence. I hope I can carry this momentum into the Malaysia Masters next week.” – Men’s singles champion Lee Zii Jia, who also takes home a second Thailand Open

Lee also won in 2022.

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