Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday vowed to support newly-crowned world snooker champion Nutcharut “Mink” Wongharuthai.
Gen Prayut praised the 22-year-old cueist for winning the World Women’s Snooker Championship in Sheffield last week.
Nutcharut “Mink Saraburi” Wongharuthai, 22, became the first Thai woman to win the World Women’s Snooker Championship after defeating Wendy Jans of Belgium 6-5 in a nerve-shredding final in Sheffield, England last Tuesday.
During a meeting at Government House, the prime minister thanked the player for giving Thais happiness.
“You created a good story for Thais during this difficult time,” the prime minister said.
Promising that the government would support her, he told the cueist to stay focused in training and studying.
Prayut said the government supports cue sports as well as other disciplines.
Nutcharut earlier called on the government to drop cue sports from the list of gambling activities.
Prayut directed the officials to look into the matter.
In the final of the World Women’s Snooker Championship, Nutcharut claimed a dramatic 6-5 victory against Belgium’s Wendy Jans.
The title showdown at the Ding Junhui Snooker Academy was decided on the final black with the Thai taking the last frame 65-53.
With the triumph, Nutcharut became the first Thai to win the World Women’s Snooker Championship. She also took the winner’s £6,000 purse (about 260,000 baht).
It was her second victory in less than a month after winning the British Women’s Open.
The Belgian led 5-3 when the Thai staged a fightback to send the match into the deciding frame.
Jans trailed by 40 points in the final frame.
She clawed back the deficit and had the chance to win the title on the final black but missed it to the yellow pocket, leaving Nutcharut an easy pot into the middle.
Nutcharut and her manager Borrirak Jongchotchatchawal were greeted at Suvarnabhumi by a reception committee led by Billiard Sports Association of Thailand president Sakda Rattanasuban and a fan club.
Nutcharut thanked the officials and fans for their warm welcome, adding she was happy since winning the world title would boost Thailand’s reputation among international snooker players.