Major badminton tournament gets underway
Chiang Mai’s Deputy Governor, Chumporn Saengmanee, presided over
the opening ceremony for the “Victor-Chiang Mai-Bangkok Open 2009”
badminton tournament on October 19 at the Gymnasium 1 in the Muang
Chiang Mai Stadium.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s trophies await the winners of the tournament.
The competition, a jointly run event by Chiang Mai Municipality and the
Sports Association of Chiang Mai, and sponsored by Victor Sports Inter
Trade, was being held in honor of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s
82nd birthday anniversary and featured approx. 2,000 badminton players
from Thailand and overseas competing in 1,300 matches and in 31
categories. The tournament is approved by the Badminton Association of
Thailand and the winners will all be awarded ranking points.
All the competitors will also receive panda dolls as souvenirs of the
event which was due to conclude, Sunday, Oct. 25.
Chumporn Saengmanee, Chiang Mai’s Deputy Governor, officially opens
the “Victor-Chiang Mai-Bangkok Open 2009” badminton tournament.
The Yara Bangkok Challenge 2009 Adventure Race
Paddling the klongs
(canals) of Nong Chok will be just part
of the Yara Bangkok Challenge 2009 Adventure
Part of the Amazing Thailand Adventure Race
Series, the Yara Bangkok Challenge 2009
Adventure Race will be held on November 14 and
is a three to eight hour endurance race which
takes teams of 2 participants through a 50+ km
course of trekking, mountain biking, swimming,
and paddling as well as some mystery tests.
Organizers this year expect to have more than
100 teams from around the world coming to
“The reason Nong Chok has been chosen as the
race venue is because the area has so much to
offer to outdoor enthusiasts. The course travels
through paddy fields, lakes, canals, temples,
wooden bridges, bathing buffaloes, birds and
villages trapped in time. The area offers the
recipe for great adventure racing, a memorable
experience and a wonderful voyage through the
greenery and beauty of the Thai Countryside,”
says race director Serge Henkens.
Anyone can participate as there are 2 different
divisions: Adventure level is accessible to
anyone with a minimum of fitness. This is a good
introduction to the world of Adventure Racing
and top teams are expected to complete the 45 km
course in 3 hours.
Extreme level is for more experienced and
stronger athletes, as this division requires
more serious training. Top teams are expected to
complete their 65 km course in 4:30 hours.
The race is open to anyone 14 years of age or
older and each team must consist of two
For more details please take a look here
www.ama-events.com or call 02 718 9581-2
makes blood boil again
Paris (AP) - So infuriating, so
unnecessary. Manchester United boss Alex
Ferguson stepped way, way out of line in
accusing Premier League referee Alan Wiley of
being unfit. In other workplaces, such abuse
would be unacceptable - akin to yelling across
the office that a colleague is a fat fool.
United manager Alex Ferguson speaks during a
press conference in Moscow, Tuesday, Oct. 20.
(AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
Pushed to extremes, such disrespect for those
who do their best to officiate football but will
never be as infallible as robots leads to
referees quitting the game in droves. At worst,
it leads to the horrors inflicted on match
officials such as He Zhibiao in China and
Prakong Sukguamala in Thailand.
Prakong reportedly needed 50 stitches and broke
a finger last year after an entire team, Kuiburi
FC, punched and kicked him for sending off three
players in a match to decide promotion to
Thailand’s second division. Police fired warning
shots to disperse the mob, reports said.
Only sprinting like a gazelle saved He from an
almost certain beating after he red-carded three
players in a chaotic July 26 playoff between the
cities of Beijing and Tianjin. Tianjin player
Zhao Shitong, who chased the referee across half
the field before pushing him to the ground, was
subsequently banned for life.
Ferguson can’t be blamed for such hooliganism,
especially in Asian leagues with a history of
match-fixing and official corruption.
But as the world’s most famous working football
manager, his words and actions echo in all
corners of the footballing globe. Like it or
not, he and other managers in football’s top
tiers are role models. They hurt football with
their constant gripes about on-field decisions
that go against them, perpetuating the poisonous
notion of referees as incompetent whipping-boys
at best, enemies at worse. And it is not just
Ferguson, although he is the undisputed master
of this dark art.
Aug. 16: Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, asked
about the officiating in a 2-1 loss to
Tottenham, removed his glasses from his pocket
and pointed to them. The clear message: referee
Phil Dowd is blind.
Aug. 29: Alan Pardew of Southampton, now
struggling in League One after dropping out of
England’s top two flights, says referee Carl
Boyeson “robbed us.” ‘’I’m struggling to
remember a referee who is as bad as him,” said
the former Reading, West Ham and Charlton boss.
“I feel as sick as I’ve felt as a football
June 24: Hull manager Phil Brown is fined for
describing referee Mike Riley’s performance as
“disgraceful” in a 2-1 FA Cup loss to Arsenal.
“We’ve not been beaten by Arsenal - we’ve been
beaten by the referee and the linesman,” he
To imagine that such incessant attacks on the
integrity and competence of match officials
doesn’t trickle down to lower levels of the game
is naive. What fans see on television on
Saturday is often repeated in their own matches
Last year, in launching a campaign to root out
unacceptable behavior, the Football Association
said 7,000 referees in England quit football
every year because of abuse from players and the
sidelines. There’s been progress but more is
needed. Serious assaults on referees declined by
10 percent last season but more than 500 still
reported being subject to physical abuse.
“Football reflects society,” says Dermot
Collins, who manages the Respect campaign.
“Somehow we got to the point where players felt
they had the right to offer a running commentary
right through the game.”
Ferguson did offer qualified apologies for his
untruthful claim that Wiley, whom he has often
criticized, “just wasn’t fit enough for a game
of that standard” after the Premier League
champions managed only a 2-2 draw against
Sunderland on Oct. 3. Ferguson explained that
his legendary temper got the better of him
because he was disappointed by his expensive
team’s poor play.
“Akin to going to work, having a bad day, coming
home and kicking the dog,” says Alan Leighton of
the Prospect trade union, which represents most
of England’s 19 full-time professional referees,
including Wiley. The union wants Ferguson to be
banned for several matches. A disciplinary
commission that can issue a warning, a fine, a
touchline ban or worse will hear the case in
coming weeks or months.
Ferguson, although clumsily voiced, did actually
have a point in suggesting that football must
ensure that referees keep pace with the fast
modern game. A report on this issue in March
from the associations that represent managers
and players made sobering reading. Hard to argue
- especially after referee Mike Jones’ blunder
last weekend in awarding a goal against
Liverpool that deflected off a beach ball - with
the report’s recommendations that there needs to
be more professional referees and far better
selection, evaluation and training of match
But such wisdom got lost in Ferguson’s tirade.
Vancouver flame lit in ancient Olympia
Olympia, Greece (AP) - The flame for the
Vancouver Olympics was successfully lit by the
sun’s rays in an ancient ceremony last Thursday,
heralding the start of the torch relay for the
2010 Winter Games.
actress Maria Nafpliotou, dressed as a high
priestess, holds up the Olympic flame during a
ceremony for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, at
the temple of Hera in Ancient Olympia, Thursday,
Oct. 22. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan
The sun shone just enough over the fallen
temples at the birthplace of the ancient
Olympics for a Greek actress in a pagan
priestess’ white gown and sandals to focus its
rays on a silver torch using a concave mirror.
The flame will burn at the Feb. 12-28 Vancouver
Games, following a torch relay across Canada and
a shorter run in Greece.
“More than just a sporting event, the Games
offer us a unique moment to serve the cause of
humanity and celebrate the human spirit,”
Vancouver Organizing Committee CEO John Furlong
Bad weather disrupted the meticulously
choreographed ceremony for the last three Winter
Olympics - Turin, Salt Lake City and Nagano -
and officials had to use backup flames kindled
In addition to good weather, last week’s
ceremony also benefited from a lack of
protesters this time, even though Vancouver
relay officials had been worried that activists
would be on hand to protest against seal hunting
Ahead of the 2008 Beijing Games, pro-democracy
and Tibetan activists protesting China’s human
rights record unfurled a banner in Olympia’s
ancient stadium during the lighting ceremony,
and tried to stop the torch relay in several
cities around the world.
The protests led the IOC to scrap international
torch relays, and dozens of police were
stationed at the archaeological site Thursday.
IOC president Jacques Rogge said the Olympic
torch conveyed a global message “of friendship
“The Olympic torch and flame are symbols of the
values and ideals which lie at the heart of the
Olympic Games,” Rogge said, as hundreds of
spectators looked on from the stadium’s grassy
Greek giant slalom skier Vassilis Dimitriadis,
31, was the first torchbearer to run out of the
ancient stadium after accepting the flame from
Nafpliotou. After an eight-day journey across
Greece, the torch will be handed over to
Canadian officials at the restored ancient
Panathenaean Stadium in Athens on Oct. 29.
It will reach Canada on Oct. 30 for what
organizers say will be the largest ever national
relay, starting in Victoria, British Columbia,
and involving 12,000 torchbearers.
Furlong said the Vancouver organizing committee
wanted “to be sure no Canadian is denied the
right to dream and celebrate.”
Over 106 days, the relay will span Canada, being
flown as far north as the Alert forestry station
in Nunavut, which at some 800 kilometers (500
miles) from the North Pole is the northernmost
permanently inhabited place in the world.
Although cauldrons were lit during the ancient
games, held in Olympia from 776 B.C. to 394 A.D,
the torch relay is a modern addition to the
Olympics. It made its first appearance during
the 1936 Berlin Games, and its Winter Games
debut was at the Innsbruck 1964 Olympics.