The Athletics Association of Thailand (AAT) has paid tribute to German coach Klaus Pitzer, who helped the country's athletes achieve great success at a home Asian Games in 1978.
Pitzer, who died last month aged 73, was instrumental in Thailand achieving what remains its best ever medal haul in athletics at an Asian Games, back in 1978.
On home soil in Bangkok, Thailand managed four golds, one silver and two bronze medals in athletics, which was held at the Supachalasai Stadium.
Pitzer was credited with playing a key role in Thailand's success in the 1978 Games, as reported by the Bangkok Post.
In the run-up to the event he was athletics manager at the University of Mainz, and he invited Thai athletes to train and compete in Germany ahead of the multi-sport event.
Following Pitzer's passing, AAT secretary-general Surapong Ariyamongkol paid tribute to the coach, saying his contribution to the 1978 Games would never be forgotten.
"It was a great opportunity for us to train in Germany for over three months and participate in seven or eight events ahead of the 1978 Asian Games," said Ariyamongkol.
"Mr Pitzer was the key contact person who arranged accommodation and competitions for our team.
"Thanks to his dedication and perseverance, our athletes were able to get excellent results at the 1978 Asian Games."
Thailand's athletics gold medallists during a memorable Games for the host nation were Suchart Jairsuraparp in the men's 100m, Usanee Laopinkarn in the women's 200m and two relay quartets known as the "dream teams" - the men's 4x100m featuring Jairsuraparp and team-mates Anat Ratanapol, Kanoksak Chaisanont and Somsak Boontud and the women's 4x100m featuring Laopinkarn and team-mates Pusadee Sangvijit, Wallapa Pinij and Buspranee Ratanapol.
The friendship began when Pitzer holidayed to Thailand and became good friends with athletics officials within the country who ensured he enjoyed fine hospitality during his trips in the 1970s.
To return the favour, Pitzer invited Thai athletes to Germany in the run-up to the 1978 Asian Games, where Thailand went on to finish fifth in the medal table with 42 medals including 11 golds.
"I accepted his invitation on condition that he allow us to go there with our male and female sprinters," said Ariyamongkol.
"We wanted to seriously prepare our athletes for the Asian Games in 1978.
"Everyone in Thailand's athletics community will keep Mr Pitzer close to their hearts.
"Thanks for all you did for us.
"We will always be grateful to you."