Pattaya Daily News

16 December 2007 :: 06:12:58 am 7126

Sea Games Ends With Hosts Thailand Topping Medal Table

Thailand topped the medals table by a staggering 115 gold ahead of Malaysia at the conclusion of the Southeast Asian Games on Saturday 15th. Dec.
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With golden fireworks, music and traditional Thai dancing, the biennial event drawing 11 countries closed its curtain at the main stadium in Korat, northeastern Thailand.

“I am glad to preside over the closing ceremony. Sports events not only strengthen relations among nations but also give opportunities for athletes to develop their skills,” Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said.

The chairman of the Thai National Olympic Committee, General Yuthasak Sasiprapa, handed over the Southeast Asian Games flag to Laotian Deputy Prime Minister Somsawat Lengsavad at the ceremony, whose nation will host the competition in 2009.

Thailand bagged 409 medals in total, including 183 golds, racing far ahead of second-ranking Malaysia, which won 68 golds. Vietnam finished third with 64 golds.

Among the 11 competitors, East Timor was the only country that did not win any medals. The tiny half-island nation was the world’s newest country after gaining independence from Indonesia in 2002.

“This is exactly what we expected, the gold medals represent the pride of our country,” Yuthasak Sasiprapha, president of the Thai Olympic Committee, told reporters.

As expected, Thailand, swept all but one of boxing events, winning 16 of the 17 golds on offer, helped by a boycott of the men’s bouts by the Philippines, who said the contest was a “comic show” with substandard judging.

The hosts made a clean sweep of the gold medals in men’s and women’s sepak takraw, aerobic gymnastics, golf, handball, rugby, soccer and futsal, and dropped only one gold in the muay Thai events.

Malaysia performed well in all sports but excelled in swimming, athletics and 10-pin bowling while Vietnam, who were table-toppers when they held the Games in 2003, had 64 golds after dominating the artistic gymnastics, karate, wrestling and judo events.

Indonesia, whose sports minister threatened to withdraw the entire team because of “biased judging”, were fourth after winning all the badminton golds while Philippines slumped to six on 41 golds having finished top when they were hosts in 2005.

Of the region’s minor nations, Laos picked up five golds in muay Thai, petanque and judo, Cambodia won two in petanque and Brunei won gold in lawn bowls.

The tiny Thai-funded team of seven athletes from East Timor were the only team to leave empty handed.

Laos will host the 2009 Games, when the number of sports will be slashed by almost half to 25.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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