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Thailand’s first Taekwondo gold medal… Koreans who became national heroes[이슈시개]

Coach Choi Young-seok, who has been leading Thailand’s Taekwondo for over 20 years, celebrates with Panipak, who won the women’s taekwondo 49kg final at the Tokyo Olympics held at Makuhari Messe Hall A in Japan on the 24th. Olympic Photography Foundation
When Thailand’s national Taekwondo team, Panipak Ongpatanakit, won the gold medal in the women’s 49kg taekwondo event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on the 24th, local support for coach Choi Young-seok continues. It is the first Olympic gold medal in Thai Taekwondo history and the ninth gold medal in Thai Olympic history.

After winning the gold medal, there have been reports that the Thai government directly helps coach Choi become naturalized, so his status is expected to rise further.

On the 25th, a local radio broadcasting media in Thailand posted a picture of coach Choi through the official SNS saying, “This gold medal is a historic gold medal. Please continue to teach Taekwondo in Thailand.” Another local Thai media, MThai, also said on the 24th, “Thank you for making Thai people laugh.”

Coach Choi Young-seok of Thailand's national Taekwondo team has been reborn as a national hero in Thailand.  Captured from Thai media 'The MOMENTUM'Coach Choi Young-seok of Thailand’s national Taekwondo team has been reborn as a national hero in Thailand. Captured from Thai media ‘The MOMENTUM’
In addition, the Thai media ‘THE STANDARD’ reported on the same day that the Thai government is stepping in for director Choi’s naturalization. This media published an article under the heading, “The Thai government is ready to grant him nationality if he formally submits an application for Thai citizenship.”

“(Thai government) spokesperson for the deputy prime minister said on the 25th that coach Choi made a great contribution to the development of taekwondo at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.” added.

He also praised “Director Choi’s many important achievements.” “He made the Taekwondo team participate in international competitions and is now ranked number one in the world.” He also listed his achievements, saying, “It has left a remarkable achievement of consistently winning medals in other world competitions.”

Previously, coach Choi has been undergoing procedures for naturalization to Thailand since February. However, it is reported that naturalization has not yet been completed due to the fact that Thailand’s naturalization procedure is notoriously difficult and the procedure has been delayed due to the aftermath of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19).

Coach Choi Young-seok instructs Panipak during the women's taekwondo 49kg final at the Makuhari Messe Hall A at the Tokyo Olympics on the 24th.  yunhap newsCoach Choi Young-seok instructs Panipak during the women’s taekwondo 49kg final at the Makuhari Messe Hall A at the Tokyo Olympics on the 24th. yunhap news
Local Thai netizens who came across this also showed a reaction to Choi, saying, “I have respect.” In fact, the Thai people’s trust in him is strong enough that there is a fan club of director Choi in Thailand.

A Thai netizen praised Coach Choi, saying, “He was the person who fought behind the stadium (with Panipak),” and said, “Thank you and congratulations.” Another netizen also said, “Director Choi is the most important member of the Thai national Taekwondo team,” and “He inspired the Thai people with dreams, hopes, will, perseverance and success.”

Domestic netizens who heard the news also responded, “I’m proud”. A domestic netizen said, “This is also a kind of raising the national prestige,” and “It is to promote Taekwondo to the world.” Another netizen said, “It is very difficult for a (foreigner) to obtain Thai citizenship,” and “The fact that naturalization is possible means that the Thai government is giving great treatment.”

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