Thailand had their worst Olympic performance for 16 years after winning three medals in London _ two silvers and one bronze.
The kingdom’s successful athletes at the 2012 Games are silver winners Kaew Pongprayoon (boxing) and Pimsiri Sirikaew (weightlifting) and bronze medallist Chanatip Sonkham (taekwondo).
It was the first time that Thailand failed to win a gold medal since boxer Somluck Kamsing became Thailand’s first-ever Olympic champion at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
“That’s sports _ you win or lose. But our athletes did their best,” said Sakol Wannapong, deputy governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand who had predicted that his country would not win gold in London.
“I told you earlier that our preparations were poor. So we deserved the results.
“After every Olympics, we would talk about long-term development projects but nothing has been carried out seriously.
“We should start creating more young athletes from now for the Rio Games in 2016.”
Thailand’s delegation chief Thana Chaiprasit said he was disappointed by the performance.
“We should have won at least one gold from Kaew,” said Thana who is quitting as the country’s delegation chief.
“We need clear-cut plans for the next Olympics.”
Kaew was controversially defeated 13-10 by China’s Zou Shiming in the 49kg final on Saturday night. However, he will get more than 23 million in financial rewards from the government and the private sector.
Earlier, Nat Indarapana, Thailand’s member of the International Olympic Committee, said the country failed to meet the two gold medal target because of the athletes’ poor preparations.
“Our athletes did not get proper support from concerned parties. We also have few good coaches. The Sports Authority of Thailand, the National Olympic Committee and the sports associations have to work together closely,” he said.
Thailand had 37 athletes in 16 sports at the 2012 Games but the contingent won only three medals.
Thailand won two golds and one silver at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Nat added: “It will be tougher for Thailand at the 2016 Rio Games because of the climate and time difference.
“We have to worker harder or we will get nothing.”
Thai Olympic committee secretary-general Charouek Areeratchakaran said concerned parties should give more financial support to those who have a realistic chance of winning a medal at the Olympics.
He said he would talk to SEA Games members to focus on Olympic sports and reduce “regional sports” at the biennial event.
Charouek said although Thailand had an unconvincing performance in London at least they were “Asean kings” as they were placed above other countries in the Southeast Asian grouping on the medal standings.