In conjunction with World Badminton Day (July 5), reigning world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn recently shared an emotional story about how he still messages his childhood coach who had passed away.

“When I was a kid, I didn’t know how to go to practice. He would come pick me up, drop me off. He was my first coach, and a good one. I loved him a lot. Today, he’s no longer around.

“I used to tell him about my goals, how I will make it happen and what I’ve said is not a lie. I told him I wanted to become a world champion, an Olympic and All-England champion. I’ve become a world champion, but the other two will be even harder.

“But I will try to achieve them. I still send him messages. Like I’ve made it to the next round, I didn’t play well this round, I’ll do better in the next round. It’s kind of sad, because he wasn’t there the day we succeeded,” Vitidsarn told Woody FM.

The 23-year-old made history after becoming Thailand’s first men’s singles world champion when he defeated Kodai Naraoka in 2023.

Vitidsarn dedicated that historic world title to his late coach, saying “When I was young I promised my coach I would get the gold medal. He passed away, and I dedicate this gold medal to him.”

During his interview, Vitidsarn revealed that 'Coach Peng' had passed away due to cancer.

The three-time world junior champion will next set his sights on securing a gold medal at the upcoming Paris Olympics that takes place later this month.