23 May 2024

A Thai teenager has made Thai sport history by being the runner-up in the bobsleigh event at the OMEGA Youth Series Competition, held at the Olympic Sliding Centre in South Korea’s PyeongChang on March 1st and 2nd.

The young athlete, Ayase Campeol, finished the race in 1 minute 58.19 seconds, after her competitor from Denmark,who finished 1.06 seconds faster.

Athletes who accumulate high scores gain the right to compete in the Youth Olympic Winter Sports next year.

Ayase was among six athletes from Thailand, two males and four females, who joined the competition with sponsorship from the Ski and Snowboard Association of Thailand. She is currently studying at Kumphawapi School in the north-eastern province of Udon Thani.

She began her training in winter sports on roller skis and was selected for the winter sports program, jointly organised by the Ski and Snowboard Association of Thailand and the Olympic Committee of South Korea in June 2019. She was chosen for bobsleigh training in South Korea.

The PyeongChang OMEGA Youth Series Competition saw 78 young athletes from 25 nations register to take part.

The event was preceded by a training camp of more than two weeks, under the direction of Nicola Minichiello, the 2009 Women’s Bobsleigh World Champion and now North America Coordinator of the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF). Their experienced coaches prepare participants, aged 13-17, for the challenging track in South Korea with systematic training, in which the starting eights move higher and higher, in accordance with the progress of the male and female pilots.

In addition to the competitions, the program also includes a wide range of educational and cultural activities, including Korean language courses, information on anti-doping initiatives, safe sports training, social media, Korean culture and K-pop.