Asian Beach Games closes

The 5th Asian Beach Games (ABG5) wrapped up with the closing ceremony after 10 days of competition in Da Nang, with more than 3,200 athletes having competed.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Nguyen Ngoc Thien; vice president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), Timothy Fok and chairman of the city’s people’s committee Huynh Duc Tho joined hands to extinguish the ceremonial flame.

A total of 172 medal sets were awarded across 14 sports and 22 events from September 24 to October 3. 

Vietnam finished first in the medal table, bagging 52 gold, 44 silver and 43 bronze medals.

Thailand came second with 36 golds, 24 silvers and 30 bronzes, while China was third with 12 golds, 18 silvers and 19 bronzes.

Addressing the closing ceremony, minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Nguyen Ngoc Thien applauded efforts made by athletes, coaches and officials at the ABG.

“The games are officially closed after 10 days of competition. Over 3,000 athletes and 1,200 officials, technical experts and referees took part in tough competitions and showed friendship, solidarity and common emotions at the games,” Thien said.

“Although not every athlete won a medal, the participants were the real winners of the games for their patience, solidarity and friendship,” he said.

Vice president of the OCA, Timothy Fok, said the ABG5 was a new chapter in Asian sport.

“Congratulations Danang, Vietnam. The ABG5 has been completed successfully. We enjoyed the weather, beach and sea of Danang as well as the history and culture of Vietnam and Danang.”

The closing ceremony ended with fireworks and a performance from artists, dancers and athletes from participating countries and territories. 

Disappointment

In an interview with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper yesterday, deputy head of Vietnam Sports Administration, Tran Duc Phan said:”Vietnam prepared the most powerful squads including indoor sports athletes to compete in the ABG5. However, many countries did not send their best squads to the games, so Vietnam won many medals in unexpected sports at ABG5.”

Former head of elite sport department of Vietnam Sports Administration, Nguyen Hong Minh As also spoke to to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, saying: ”Vietnam could not hold typical beach sports including sailing, surfing, paramotor due to a lack of funds and a shortage of sportspersons. It’s the reason that Vietnam had to include indoor sports such as wrestling, shuttlecock kicking, Vovinam and traditional martial arts at ABG5.”

“Only Thailand sent a strong squad to compete at the ABG5, but other countries competed with a limited number of athletes as they did not value the Asian Beach Games. Vietnam had many advantages to finish as top medal winners at ABG5.”

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