Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Over To You Laos

KORAT, Dec 15 (Bernama) -- Fireworks lighted up the Korat skyline as soon as the flame at the Cauldron, which was continuosly burning throughout the 10 days of competition died down at the King's Anniversary Main Stadium, to mark the closing of the Korat SEA Games but the flares failed to light up the uncertainty surrounding the next host.

The SEA Games Federation (SGF) flag will now make its way towards unchartered territory, Laos, who will host the SEA Games for the first time in 2009 and who have openly admitted that they do not have adequate facilties.

The next host have also suggested to host 25 sports and though the names of the sports were not revealed, gymnastics and basketball have been axed due to lack of indoor stadiums.

But amidst all that uncertainty, the athletes and officials danced and hugged each other in a true show of friendship, reminescent of every major sporting event, after having battled it out against each other in search of honours for their respective countries.

Thailand Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont, who presided over the closing ceremony, said the SEA Games plays a vital role in promoting relations and cooperation among countries.

Surayud later presented the TOT Most Valuable Player Award to swimmer Natthanan Junkrajang of Thailand, and Miguel Monica of Philippines who also won four gold medals in swimming.

Junkrajang won the 100m, 200m freestyle and the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle while Monica collected gold medals from the 200m Breaststroke, 200m Individual Medley, 400m Individual Medley and 4x100m medley.

They both received a trophy and 330,000 baht (USD10,000).


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