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Coach confident Willi should shine

Artikel in der Bangkok Post vom 27.06.2002 von Yvonne Bohwongprasert

Thai-German Sydney Olympic bronze medallist Wiradech Kothny has to work hard on his physical condition and brush up his tactics to have a better chance at picking up a gold medal at the 14th Asian Games, according to his coach Somkit Pongyoo.

”I have to talk to Wiradech about refining his tactics, he is a fine fencer, but does get carried away. Besides this, I am a little concerned about him putting too much importance on his social life. Right now he gives it as much importance as his training, but I believe this issue can be ironed out.”

Wiradech, who finally obtained his Thai citizenship and eventual approval from FIE earlier this month, finished fifth in his first outing for the Kingdom at a World Cup meet in Boston this month. He was beaten 12-15 by Italy's Talintino, a former 1998 World Champion.

Wiradech finished 9th place at the Sabre Word Championships in Cuba and will be continuing for a meet in Iran next.

This will be followed by a two weeks training stint with the American national fencing team, and then culminating at the World Championships in Lisbon, Portugal. ”Wiradech is really happy that he can finally compete for Thailand,” said Somkit. ”But he has to work on his physical conditioning due to a lapse in keeping a proper training schedule this past six months while he was waiting to get the Thai citizenship.”

Adjusting to his new surroundings in Thailand hasn't exactly been smooth sailing for the Thai-German, admits Somkit, as he has had to deal with a number of issues on his own.

Somkit, who is a player-coach, said that Wiradech is a world class player, but he still has problems keeping his cool and that often costs him valuable matches.

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