HA NOI — Host Thailand were crowned overall Asian Beach Games champion for the second time after the biennial tournament wrapped up in Phuket yesterday.
The host secured 56 gold medals, a massive domination compared with the performances of other competitors.
They once reigned supreme in the second edition of the Games in Muscat, Oman, in 2010.
Defending overall champion China finished a distant second with 16 gold medals. They apparently disappeared in the first few days of the tournament and made it to the top three slots only in the last two days but failed to defend their top place.
South Korea came in third with nine golds following a clean sweep of the water ski events.
The fourth edition of the Games witnessed six gold medals in kabaddi, volleyball and sepak takraw or rattan ball kicking yesterday.
The Thai athletes won two sepak takraw titles in the men’s and women’s team regu categories. Iran, India, Indonesia and Kazakhstan grabbed one each from the other events.
Viet Nam finished at fifth place, their most successful Games campaign in history, with eight gold, 12 silver and 20 bronze medals.
They won only one silver medal in the women’s sepak takraw regu event yesterday.
Saturday was their best day, with a harvest of four titles, the same number won in eight previous days of competition.
Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat emerged as champion in the men’s 57kg featherweight category of muaythai before Bui Thi Ly did the same in the women’s 54kg bantamweight category.
Later, they won two of five golds in bodybuilding, by Nguyen Hai Au in the 165cm bantamweight and Se Pha in the 168cm lightweight categories.
Viet Nam will host the fifth edition of the Games from September 24 to October 3, 2016. This will be the first time the country will play host to the Games, the multi-sports Asian-level competition, after hosting the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in 2009 and the ASEAN-level competition in the 2003 Southeast Asian Games.
Lam Quang Thanh, chef-de-mission and deputy head of the Viet Nam Sports Administration, revealed that the country had thrown in their best efforts in preparation for the hosting of the next Games, with Da Nang and Nha Trang serving as joint host cities.
Both have several beautiful tourist attractions and are quite famous among overseas tourists, especially the former, for a beautiful beach measuring more than 3,250m.
According to Thanh, Viet Nam has already sent more than 10 officials and working teams to study the staging of the Phuket Games and collect important information on the competition, as well as transportation and related aspects of organising the competitions.
Basically, the next Asian Beach Games will feature 24 sports, which will not be different from what had been contested in Phuket, where Thailand, in particular, did a good job as host,” said Thanh.