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Chiang Mai hosts a sparkling ASEAN University Games

Laos to host the next University Games

Faces of the ASEAN University Games

Chiang Mai hosts a sparkling ASEAN University Games

Story by Staff Reporters/ Photos by AUG Sports Today team

Thailand enjoyed a golden finale to the 15th ASEAN University Games, winning a total of 7 gold medals on the last day of competition to top the medal table standings.

Daniel William Henry Bego of Malaysia took two gold medals in swimming, one each in the Men’s 200 Metres Butterfly and 100 Metres Freestyle.

The Games began with much fanfare on Wednesday, December 15 at Maejo University where a spectacular Lanna style pageant preceded speeches from Chiang Mai Deputy Governor, Naruemol Palwat, the Hon. Dato Professor Omar Osman, President of the ASEAN University Sports Council, and Chinaworn Bunyakiart, the Minister of Education for Thailand, who all welcomed the some 5,000 athletes and their support staff from the 11 ASEAN nations to the event.

The majority of the sports got underway on Thursday and the first gold medals of the Games were handed out with both Indonesia and Vietnam scoring a brace of victories each in the men’s and women’s Karate Do disciplines.

The host nation got off the mark the following day when Chatchisiri Nunmanut secured a gold medal for Thailand in the women’s individual 10-pin bowling, beating Malaysia’s Tengku Emanina Laily in the final. There then followed further success for Thailand in the men’s and women’s Kumite events as the hosts garnered a further 3 gold medals on Day 2 to place second behind Indonesia in the overall medals list.

The Thai sports stars were cheered on by a colourful couple of characters, Samart Khumsawat aka Mart Kaen Kuang, and Sompong Katkaew aka Loy Ngoa Paa,, who turned up at various events each day in some outlandish costumes to lead the cheering squads. The pair certainly added to the general atmosphere of fun experienced throughout the duration of the Games.

After a tough day of track and field on Saturday, all the athletes, coaches and staff were able to enjoy a rest day on Sunday and they took advantage of the time off to visit some of the main tourist attractions of Chiang Mai, including San Kamphaeng Hot Springs, Mae Sa Elephant Camp, Baan Tawai, Bor Sang and the Night Safari.

Despite winning 5 gold medals on the track on Saturday, Thailand still trailed Indonesia by some clear margin in the race to be the top medalists, so they were looking to raise their game when the final four days of competition resumed on Monday, December 20. And the hosts certainly stepped up to the plate as they took a bagful of gold medals in the track and field.

First off was Rewadee Sooksawat of Thailand who won the women’s discus with a throw of 42.01 meters. Maria Natalia Londa of Indonesia then took the gold in the Women’s Triple Jump-women, recording a jump of 13.38 meters and Agustina Bawele won the gold medal in the Women’s 100 m Hurdles, adding an additional gold medal to Indonesia’s growing collection with a time of 14.29 seconds.

The hosts came back with victories in the 100 m Men’s Hurdles, Men’s and Women’s 200m sprints and the Men’s high jump. The final event was the 3,000 m Steeplechase for men where Sanchai Namket of Thailand won the gold with his time of 9:25:70. Added to further successes on the day in the Sepak Takraw and 10-pin bowling, it left Thailand equal with Indonesia on 21 golds each, with Malaysia trailing just behind in third place.

All three countries battled for supremacy over the final three days but it was the hosts who edged ahead to finish atop the medal table with 58 gold medals, ahead of Indonesia on 46, Malaysia on 37 and Vietnam on 34.

The grand closing ceremony, held again at Maejo University on December 23, was televised live on Channel 11 TV and former Miss Thailand Panndada Wongpudee was on hand to welcome all the athletes to the University’s football stadium before the parade moved to the gymnasium complex.

The Hon. Dato’ Prof. Omar Osman, Chairman of the ASEAN University Sports Council, addressed the gathered throng and said that he was very glad that the Games were such a success for Thailand and he thanked them on the smooth running of the event.

“Once again congratulations to Thailand that hosted this with great hospitality, and creating friendships in ASEAN,” he said, “and also congratulations to Laos which will be the host of the next 16th AUG in Vientiane in 2012.”

Following traditional music and performances by representatives of the 11 nations, all that remained was for the AUG flag to be lowered and handed over to Sengdeuane Lachathabun, Deputy Minister of Education for the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and for the flame of the 15th ASEAN University Games to be extinguished during the performance of the official Games song, “Together as One”, sung by the students of Sansai Withayakhom School.

See you all again in Laos!.

Agus Prayogo of Indonesia won the 5,000m,
 he won the 10,000m gold medal in the 25th SEA Games in Laos in 2009.

Jamrat Rittidet added to Thailand’s gold tally with his win in the 100 meter Hurdles.

An all Thailand women’s beach volleyball final resulted in some spectacular play.

Sepak Takraw was exciting as always as here, Malaysia takes on Indonesia.

Laos to host the next University Games

Story by AUG Sports Today Assistant Editor team

Deputy Minister for Laos Sengdeuane Lachathabun, said “Laos feels very impressed with the warm welcome from Thailand that looked after us well.” She added that everyone was very happy with how well the athletes, coaches and staff had been treated. The athletes for Laos were quite satisfied with the outcome as they had practiced very hard for the games, she added.

Deputy Minister for Laos Sengdeuane Lachathabun

She pointed out that Laos is the next host for the ASEAN University Games in 2012, and that the Organizing Committee had been approved in principle by the Lao government. She said that they came to Thailand to study the organization necessary and help them improve as the next host.

“For the good points, I have seen and learned about the tourism trips that were arranged for all the participants, this is good and outstanding event and I will bring this kind of arrangement for further management as Laos has many tourist attractions from natures and history to offer the visitors.”

Lastly she added, “I would like to ask for every athlete to get well prepared and get ready to make tighter relationships and friendship to meet each other in Laos in the next two years.”

Faces of the ASEAN University Games

By AUG Sports Today staff reporters

Master Sergeant Pravet Indra - Sepak Takraw coach Thailand said that he felt relieved for Thailand to win the championship because the Thai team had lost to Malaysia in the previous game. He encouraged his player with just these few words, “Do your best in every game!” He also left the message for youth who love playing sports that “You must play every game with your heart, not with the expectation of benefit.”

Prinyawat Thongnuam – Badminton Thailand, the winner of the gold medal for Men’s Singles and a member of the Gold Medal winning team and a silver medal winner for the Men’s Doubles said, “I felt pressure at the final round, I was very excited and sometimes I shouted to release pressure. But after that, when I got the winning gold I felt so happy and I am planning to be on the Thai national team for badminton.”

Sawatvilay Phimmasone – Taekwondo Laos; the gold medal winner from Laos in taekwondo welter weight class (between 74 kg and 80 kg), said he has been studying taekwondo since he was 7 years old, developing his skills until he could represent his country in the recent Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. He practiced very hard for the past 3 weeks to prepare for the 15th AUG. He said he felt happy and proud that he could win the gold medal, the first one for Laos and the first one for 15th AUG, “Anyway, I thank the Ajarns, and my Lao colleagues, teammates, staff trainers, and those who cheered me and supported me all the time. I would like to ask my team members to do their best for the country’s reputation in future competitions.”

Tengku Emanina Laily Tengku Zahri – Bowling Malaysia, said after she took the gold in the Women’s Master Ten Pin Bowling on December 21st that she felt very happy for the gold medal she’s got and she did better than she thought. She added that it was very lucky because she won just a few score and also her wrist is injured. However, she noted that Thailand is very attractive and she will come back soon.

Tran Huy Bao – Tennis Vietnam, winner of 2 gold medals and 1 silver medal said, “After the competition on the 22nd I felt so good to meet with my countryman as a competitor as we have practiced together. We worked very hard and I am very tired. This was good practice to gain more experience however, we have to improve our time management for both sports and studies. This is what has made me successful in the Games.”