James Loving - National
Radio Text Service
Strength in numbers did not apply for Malaysia who fielded more athletes 171, than any of the participants. They managed a third place finish in the medal count. The winning Thais fielded 155 athletes of the 743 competitors. The Philippines were as second in the total medal count with 47. Malaysia collected 37 medals for third and Singapore followed with 21.
December 5, ????
THE GAMES ARE ON!!!
Thailand swept competition in the 10th ASEAN University Games in Bangkok Thailand that concluded this week. The event was held on the campus of Ramkhamhaeng University, which has 400,000 enrolled students. The host Thais dominated the semi annual event winning 112 of the possible 244 awarded medals. The Thais won 64 of the 79 gold medals. They garnered 33 of the 79 silver medals and 15 of the 86 bronze.
Indonesia placed second in the gold medal count winning eight and Malaysia was third with five. Indonesia finished fourth in the total medal count with 15.
Strength in numbers did not apply for Malaysia who fielded more athletes 171, than any of the participants. They managed a third place finish in the medal count. The winning Thais fielded 155 athletes of the 743 competitors. The Philippines were second in the total medal count with 47. Malaysia collected 37 medals for third and Singapore followed with 21. Malaysia finished second in the silver medal count with 17. The Philippines 29 bronze medals topped that category.
In team competition Thailand's men's football team featuring five national team members, won the gold defeating Malaysia 2-0. Thailand's men's and women's volleyball teams also took the gold. The men defeated Malaysia 3-0 and the women knocked off Indonesia 3-0.
The Thais won 40 medals in athletics, 20 gold, 12 silver and eight bronze. Malaysia was second taking home 21 medals, five gold, 10 silver and six bronzes.
Malaysia's 4X100 men's relay team won in a record breaking photo finish time of 41.10 seconds breaking the old mark of 41.11 seconds.
The Thais won 50 medals in the swimming competition winning 31 gold, 16 silver and three bronze. The Philippines were strong competitors to the Thais winning nine silver and 13 bronze.
Nine of ten Asean nations participated in the event sending a total of 749 athletes to the games. Myanmar [Burma] was the only nation not to field a team.
DID YOU KNOW? - King Adulyadej was a sportsman himself. He won the gold medal in Yachting O.K. Dinghy Class in the Fourth SEA Games, held in Bangkok in 1967. The 16th of December of every year is regarded as the National Sports Day, in honoring the King for winning that event.
The King is also a highly respected musician and composer. The Count Basie Orchestra has recorded some of his compositions.
"IN THE HEAT OF IT ALL": 10th ASEAN University Games
Having covered Super Bowls, Major League Baseball All-star games, NCAA Tournament games, Rose Bowls and championship boxing matches I was really curious… What are the ASEAN University Games? What does this mean? I was soon to find out.
My first experience was trying to figure out how to get around the massive Ramkhamhaeng University campus. Since I speak NO Thai I was fortunate to have had several University employees help me find the people who were in charge of the event. Off I went for six days of tournament competition of college athletes in Southeast Asia.
The facilities were great though small in scale from what I'm used to for such an event in the United States. The main stadium on campus seats 5,000 for football. The gymnasium for the volleyball matches accommodates 1,000 spectators.
Athletic/track events were held at the 60,000 seat Rajamangala Stadium that adjoins the campus. The facility was the site of the soccer matches for the Asian Games.
The athletic competition was spirited and student camaraderie warming.
I decided to be inconspicuous and pretend to be a fly on the wall. For this I donned my undercover attire of an army-issue khaki hat emblazoned with a Los Angeles Kings NHL ice hockey team emblem.
My face was partially concealed by my silver rim Lone Ranger styled sunglasses with dark red powered lens. This was to protect my eyes from the sun of course and not to hide my identity.
I sported a photographer's vest, a computer strapped over my shoulder, two cameras, a waist-pouch filled with pens and highlighters, a notebook/media guide holster, tape recorder and microphone. With those weapons of construction I felt that I was ready to do some undercover work.
Did I blend in with the Asian students? You betcha!!! How could I possibly be noticed being the ONLY non-Asian 6-1 person attending the games? Really!!! That was a no brainer. I fit in quite nicely thank you.
"Are you press?" I was asked by a local reporter who spoke English ALL TOO WELL? How observant I thought. It was my belief that I had left that type of BRILLIANT QUESTION back in America.
At least my undercover attire and press credential with picture draped around my neck didn't give away my identity. My disguise was a success. Obviously I had been mistaken for a student athlete.
Now I'm not going to tell you how old I am but I do admit to being a VERY RIPE 29. Actually I've been 29 a few times and feel that I'm good at it. As they say practice makes perfect.
The games were a joy. All went well UNTIL the final game's competition matching the men's volleyball teams from Thailand and Malaysia.
As I approached the arena the crowd was spilling out into the streets. I had a feeling there was some pre-game ceremony and they were clearing the way to let a VIP out. I was wrong.
After forcing my way through the wall to wall crowd, I tried to make my way towards the press area. I found newly placed benches in the way stacked with students. Being the tallest in the building with the exception of a few volleyball players I could see over the sea of humanity that getting to the press area would not only be difficult but impossible.
There I was gazing in the eye of the Thai…gerrr.
It seemed as if all of the Universities 400,000 students were crammed into this little 1,000-seat gymnasium under the blazing tropical heat.
I figured that since the crowd was so think that if I could lift my legs and climb up on top of someone that I could walk on the top of the students heads to reach the press area.
I then saw that there were NO seats to be had ANYWHERE. If they had put a throne for me to sit on at the press table there was no way for me to reach it.
I was bowed but not beaten. I headed out the door and proceeded to the back of the building. I remembered that there was a window that had access to the rear area of the gymnasium. Others had the same idea. When I arrived there were students butts hanging out of the window trying to force their way in but they had no where to go.
Where was the Fire Marshall I wondered? Probably pinned inside where he couldn't move to go and fetch his troops. OR… perhaps he was inside getting ready to enjoy the match. Hmmmm.
At that point I threw in the towel and gave up. I was beaten. Score: Thailand 1, Loving 0
BUT HEY!!! I figured that I would make use of newly founded free time and head back to the pressroom.
I then found that where I had been wasn't really the pressroom at all but the technical department. No wonder I couldn't find the printed game results and could only retrieve information from a computer.
I had been in the WRONG PLACE and the Thai's were too polite to tell me. They even offered me help and dinner. That's what I get for speaking no Thai.
In the pressroom I met the head of that division who is also an associate professor at the University. I found out that I could actually become a student at the school. My not speaking any Thai didn't matter; they had an International Division.
WOW!!! That sounded good to me. I could go back to school, play on the basketball team and lead them to the University Games Championships. Then I could join the Thai National team lead them to victory in the Asian Games and qualify for the Olympics and beat Michael Jordan and the Dream Team for the Olympic gold medal.
WHY NOT??? I still have my 66% accurate hook shot from the foul line [see "NBA or BUST"]. NEVER MIND that I'm a RIPE 29. MICHAEL (Jordan) DOESN'T WANT ANY OF THIS!!!!
Pheww!!! All of those thoughts came out just because I couldn't get into the gym to see a volleyball match. Just goes to show you what you can do with the power of positive thinking and the influence and the experience of the ASEAN University Games.
10th ASEAN UNIVERSITY GAMES MEDAL COUNT
Gold Silver Bronze
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