Tokyo 2020 Paralympics
By Derek Franklin
Former Pattaya student, Putharet Khongrak, 27, is celebrating in Japan after winning two bronze medals at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Arriving to study Electronics at the Pattaya Technological College for People with Disabilities as a seventeen year old, Jay, as he is known, was introduced to disability sports, something he had never tried before, including wheelchair racing. The College has a long tradition of producing sporting champions, many have gone on to represent Thailand at the South East Asian and the Asian Games, but very few have been selected to compete at the Paralympics.
Racing in the T54 category, for athletes with normal hand and arm function, but unable to use their lower limbs, Jay was not a favourite to win either the 1500m or the 5000m race, so crossing the line in third place is a huge accomplishment. Studies have shown that athletes winning a bronze medal are usually happier than those who win silver, Jay is certainly one happy young man!