Saturday, March 15, 2008

Laos scraps baseball for 2009 SEA Games

The Philippines will have to wait a foreseeable future to reclaim their Southeast Asian Games gold medal from Thailand.

Laos on Friday in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand announced its intention to slash the number of disciplines from 43 to only 25 for the 2009 edition of the regional event which includes baseball as one of those non-inclusions.

Other sports to be axed include basketball, gymnastics, cycling, softball, and triathlon.

Baseball has been a part of the games since the 2005 games in Manila that saw the host country taking the gold medal over Thailand. On the other hand, the Thais dethrone the Filipino batters to capture the crown this year.

The list includes archery, athletics, badminton, bowling, boxing, football, futsal, golf, handball, judo, karate-do, muay, petanque, pencak silat, sepak takraw, shooting, shuttle cock, snooker and billiards, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, traditional boat race, volleyball/beach volleyball, wrestling and wushu.

Officials from the next host cited the lack of facilities, little number of competitors, and weak participants as reasons for the cutback.

The games will be held in Vientiane for the 2009 games scheduled in December. It will be the lowest number of events to be held since the 1999 meet in Brunei which saw only 21 sports held in the oil-rich nation.

Vietnam to help Laos host SEA Games 2009

Vietnam is ready to share its experiences and assist Laos in hosting the 25th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in 2009, said Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung on September 14.

Receiving the Lao Minister-Chairman of the Lao National Sports Committee Phuthoong Sengakhom, Deputy PM Hung said the two countries' cooperation in recent years has been very effective and produced practical results, particularly in the sports and physical training field.

The Lao Minister briefed his host on the results of his working session with Vietnam's Sports and Physical Training Committee, following which the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding for further cooperation in the future.

He said Laos expected to learn from Vietnam's experiences in organising the 22nd SEA Games and hoped that the largest regional sporting event would be a success in 2009 with support and assistance from Vietnam. (VNA)

Saturday, February 16, 2008


The 2009 SEA Games in Vientiane was officially announced to thousands of athletes and officials from Asean nations on Saturday night during the closing ceremony of the 24th SEA Games in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Thailand . The closing ceremony took place in front of 20,000 spectators in the main stadium in Nakhon Ratchasima. All Lao athletes and officials who attended the closing ceremony of this year's SEA Games were delighted to be present, as the occasion marked not only the medals they had won but also the day when Laos took possession of the SEA Games flag ahead of the 25 th SEA Games in Vientiane in 2009...The Lao delegation receiving the SEA Games flag was led by Standing Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Executive Board of the 2009 SEA Games, Mr Somsavat Lengsavad; the Minister to the Prime Minister's Office, President of the Lao National Sports Committee and Lao National Olympic Committee, Dr Phouthong Seng-akhom; the Vice President of the Lao National Sports Committee and National Olympic Committee, Mr Somphou Phongsa; and the Vice President and Secretary General of the Lao National Olympic Committee, Mr Souvannarath Sayavong. After this year's SEA Games host Thailand presented the SEA Games flag to Laos , a performance by more than 400 Lao artists in five programmes followed. The first item was a traditional dance and the song Sieng Khaen Lao , featuring the cultural traditions of Lao ethnic groups and the khaen – the country's traditional musical instrument. The second item was the Sunrise Dance, a traditional dance modified from the Ramayana. This was first performed in Luang Prabang province and depicts the tradition of kindness, friendliness and hospitality of Lao women. The third item portrayed the Hmong New Year, and by a dance to celebrate the harvest season. The troupe then performed a song to welcome the 25 th SEA Games in 2009, which will take place in Vientiane . The song told of the honour and pride the Lao people feel at hosting the SEA Games, and expressed a welcome to all Asean athletes, officials and distinguished guests. The fifth item on the programme was a song expressing how the games will serve to strengthen relationships, friendship, solidarity and unity. It is hoped the SEA Games will help to push Asean sports closer to world levels in the near future. In the meantime, Laos is delighted to be hosting the event and warmly welcomes all Asean members to the games in 2009. Saturday night was an occasion not only for Lao athletes and people around the country to celebrate the passing of the SEA Games flag to Laos but also the fact that Laos had its first ever major victory at the SEA Games this year, winning 5 gold, 7 silver and 32 bronze medals. By Sisay Vilaysack Vientianetimes