OCA President impressed by Asian Beach Games hosts Thailand
Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, president of the Asian Council of Asia (OCA) and the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), presided over the awards presentation to give away the medals in two divisions, men’s under-90kg and men’s open in the ju-jitsu competition. Also attending in the ceremony at Karon Beach on November 14 was Tourism and Sports Minister Korbkarn Wattanavrangkul.
After the ceremony, the OCA President expressed his satisfaction over Thailand and Phuket in particular in hosting the 4th Asian Beach Games.
“Phuket’s preparations for hosting the Games is very satisfying. They have good public relations about the Games and the staging of the competition has also met the required standard. Personally, I love Thailand. I have travelled to this country quite often. My impression of Thailand this time is not different. Phuket is a beautiful city with lots of fantastic tourist attractions. I was not wrong to select Phuket as the host for the Asian Beach Games,” said Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah.
“Unlike the indoor competitions, the outdoor events faced uncontrollable situations including the unexpected weather conditions such as heavy rains, strong winds and rough seas and changing tides which have already affected the competition sites. We have to improve and adjust it according to different situations,” he added.
Hosts Thailand claim two gold to move up to second place
The beach flag football competition saw the host side brush off Kuwait 58-39 in the final showdown to win the gold medal. Kuwait clinched silver, with Japan and China sharing the bronze medal.
In the woodball contest, Thailand made a one-two finish when Peera Chaisongkram narrowly edged Siraphop Wannapin 3-2 in the all-Thais showdown in the men’s fairway event. The shared bronze medal went to Indonesian Sumariyanto Ahris and team-mate Susilo Marga Nugraha.
Indonesian Putri Dwi Tiga stunned Thailand’s Siripat Karinit 3-2 to win the women’s fairway gold, the first Games gold of Indonesia. Vietnam’s Nguyen Huyen Trang and Phan Thi Phuong claimed one bronze apiece.
At the end of the day, host athletes moved up to the second place overall in the medal tally after collecting four gold, four silver and six bronze medals. Mongolia remain at the top of the medal charge with six gold and two bronze medals.
Games open with spectacular ceremony
The curtain finally rose on the 4th Asian Beach Games on the evening of November 14 at the Saphan Hin Sports Center in Phuket, with Privy Councilor and the Royal Representative Gen Surayuth Julanon presiding. Also attending the ceremony were Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, president of the Olympic Council of Asia, Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Phuket Governor Nisit Chansomwong and Thai sports key persons.
The Opening continued with the march-past ceremony of the athletes from 43 participating countries and the procession of the OCA and the Asian Beach Games Flags. Thai-Czech powered paraglider Jiri George Macak, who captured three gold medals at the 3rd Asian Beach Games in Haiyang, China two years ago, was the flag-bearer to lead the Thai athletes to the stadium.
The ceremony went on with the fourth performance “Miracle of the Charming Sunshine”, followed by the run of defending beach volleyball champions Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee, carrying the Games Flame.
The women’s duo then passed the Games torch to extreme sports BMX rider Chokchai Wanitsakul. He used an RC model aircraft to carry the Games Flame to be lit at the cauldron with the height of eight metres from the sea level, located near the shore, marking the official start of the 4th Asian Beach Games.
Twelve gold medals on offer on November 15
A total of 12 gold medals will be at stake in the 4th Asian Beach Games on November 15 consisting of two gold in marathon swimming (men’s 5km and women’s 5km), two gold in beach wrestling (men’s 70kg freestyle and women’s 50kg freestyle), one gold in men’s team foot volley, two gold in Kurash (men’s under-66kg and women’s under-52kg), three gold in triathlon (men’s and women’s duathlon and mixed team duathlon), two gold in sport climbing (men’s individual speed and women’s individual speed).