Thanyapura Phuket has welcomed the first of 25 athletic swimming stars to the official Southeast Asian FINA Training Centre to begin their road to ‘Rio 2016’.
The swimmers, who reign from 14 countries, will train at the state-of-the-art Thanyapura swimming facilities on a yearlong scholarship, as part of a historic partnership with FINA – the world aquatics governing body.
The ‘Targeting Rio 2016’ scholarship, which is funded by FINA, the Olympic Solidarity and the Olympic Council of Asia, gives two swimmers – a male and female – the chance to train at Thanyapura under the guidance of our world class coaches. The swimming stars will also receive a wildcard to compete at the FINA World Championships and 2016 Rio Olympics.
Thai swimmers Pornsuda (Ee) Viniyompong and Peerapat (Garfield) Loessathapornsuk have been chosen to represent the Kingdom. The pair was selected based on their strong swimming skills and future potential. Ee and Garfield have already started training at Thanyapura.
A total of 25 athletes have been chosen from the following countries: Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Philippines, Timor Leste, India, Vietnam, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Macau, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The chosen athletes will train under the guidance of world-class coaches, while embracing the chance to compete in renowned sporting competitions across Asia and Europe.
Some applicants from the remaining 13 countries are still being considered by their respective swimming federation but all swimmers are expected to arrive at Thanyapura to begin their journey to ‘Rio 2016’ in June.
Coach Miguel said: “For the arrival of the FINA scholar, Thanyapura has assembled a comprehensive team of medical and sports experts to provide our athletes with the best total preparation for the games.
“The two thai swimmers are performing great in the short time they have been here. Their behavior is just exemplary, as they are the role model type we want to have here at Thanyapura, both in and out of the water”.
Swimmer Garfield, 19, trained under world class coach Miguel Lopez last year, in preparation for several national competitions.
“I am looking forward to developing my skills, particularly the 1500 freestyle, further with Miguel this year. My ultimate goal is to participate in the Olympics. I have always dreamed of going to the Olympics and making the finals, so this is a great opportunity for me.” – Garfield
The Bangkok-native is no stranger to high level competition and has already competed in other sporting events around the region.
Next week, the swimming star will race in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA), where he will come up against the best swimmers in Southeast Asia.
Garfield’s teammate Ee, 20, has a strong track record in the 200 metre individual medley and 200 metre breaststroke.
“The facilities at Thanyapura are great and I am looking forward to improving with the help of Miguel. It is also good to be able to share this opportunity with a teammate who understands the sacrifices you have to make as a top-level athlete.” – Ee
Ee said: “The facilities at Thanyapura are great and I am looking forward to improving with the help of Miguel. It is also good to be able to share this opportunity with a teammate who understands the sacrifices you have to make as a top-level athlete.”
The swimming duo are both students at Chulalongkorn University – one of Thailand’s most prestigious institutions of further education – but will put their education on hold to make their Rio 2016 Olympic dreams come true.
The scholars will train alongside fellow Thai National Team swimmers Tanakrit (Nok) Kittiya and Patarawadee (Ploy) Kittiya, who are Thanyapura Ambassadors, and Kornkarnjana (Golf) Sapianchai – a Thanyapura Elite Junior Sports Academy student.
All the athletes will have access to Thanyapura’s impressive swimming facilities, which include a 50m Olympic swimming pool, the use of underwater video analysis to help improve their technique and much more.
They will also be exposed to an outstanding group of coaches, sports scientists, sports psychologists, dietitians, physiotherapists and chiropractors – with everything underpinned by Thanyapura’s unique three-dimensional coaching model for the mind, body and soul.