__12 December__


  November, 28

Saudis May Send Team to Asian Games

Saudi Arabia may send a small team after all to the Asian Games in Thailand from which it unexpectedly withdrew just days ago, a Saudi official said on November 28.

Saudi Arabia's top sports official is studying a proposal by the Olympic Council of Asia to at least send a symbolic delegation to the Dec. 6-20 Games, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Saudi Arabia's sudden announcement earlier that it is withdrawing its 105-member team shocked Thailand, which remained skeptical about the official reasons offered. Back to the Top


  November, 30

China Beats Lebanon 4-1

The football team of China beat Lebanon's 4-1 in Thailand on last November 30. Lebanon only broke Chinese goal once in the second half. It was the first victory China won in the 13th Asian Games. However, the way for the Chinese team is not all that plain sailing. Back to the Top


  December 1

Asian Games Village Opens

The athletes' village of the 13th Asian Games was officially opened in Bangkok on December 1.

The village, which consists of 25 buildings, will provide accommodation to some 10,000 athletes and sports officials from 41 Asian countries and regions. Jurin Laksanawisit, vice president of the Bangkok Asian Games Organising Committee (BAGOC), cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of the village.

"The facilities in the village are very good. We've done our best and I hope athletes and officials from all the participating delegations will be satisfied with it." said Laksanawisit.

Laksanawisit was confident that the Asian Games would be a success despite the hit of the Asian financial crisis:

"The Asian financial crisis will not hinder the success of the Asian Games. There will be no problems." Back to the Top


  December 3

Chinese Sports Delegation Arrives at Bangkok

Four hundred officials and athletes of the Chinese Sports Delegation on December 3 boarded two chartered planes from Beijing and Guangzhou respectively to attend the 13th Asian Games to be held in Bangkok of Thailand.

Chinese athletes will make efforts to get good results in both sports and ethical progress, said Yuan Weimin, the head of the delegation.

He also spoke highly of that Thailand, the host of the upcoming December 6-20 Asian Games, has provided the participants with fine venues and athletes village.

A total of 193 left for Bangkok from Beijing, including athletes of basketball, men's volleyball, judo, diving, fencing, weightlifting, tennis, shooting, canoeing and most staff of the delegation.

207 athletes departed from Guangzhou in South China contains athletes of swimming, taekwondo, boxing, canoeing, sepak takraw, billiards, baseball, field hockey, men's handball and softball.

Over 800 members of the Chinese Sports Delegation will compete in 32 out of 36 categories in total. Back to the Top



Turkmenistan Shocks Mighty South Korea

Turkmenistan, China and United Arab Emirates went through to round two of the Asian Games soccer competition on December 3.

But it was a miserable day for the Koreas, with the North eliminated and the South turning a 2-0 advantage into defeat after conceding an own goal and receiving the first red card of the tournament.

South Korea, along with China, Japan and Iran, was ranked among the medal favourites.

China beat Cambodia 4-1 after a hat-trick from Eintracht Frankfurt striker Yang Chen and qualified with the maximum six points, having beaten Lebanon by the same scoreline earlier.

Meanwhile, North Korea went down 1-4 on penalties to the UAE after finishing the 90 minutes at 3-3. With only two teams in the group after Brunei pulled out of the tournament late last month, it was eliminated.

South Korea, which had a wretched World Cup in France this year, had looked to be going strong after Choi Yong Soo put it ahead with two minutes gone and added another in the 42nd minute. Back to the Top


Thailand's King Lights Asian Games Flames

Thailand's King Bhumipol Adulyadej used a magnifying glass to light the Asian Games flames on the afternoon of December 3.

The 71-year-old King used the Surayakan Glass to ignite a candle in the grounds of his main palace.

Sheikh Ahmad al Fahad al-Sabah, president of the Olympic Council of Asia, was among those who attended the torch-lighting ceremony.

The flame was placed in a miniature golden carriage from Chitrlada Palace to nearby Sanam Luang Park where it will be displayed until December 6.

The candle will be carried through Bangkok by more than 200 VIPs and athletes on Sunday for the opening ceremony of the largest Asian sporting event.

The first runner for the torch relay will be 68-year-old Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai.

The Asian Games, which have 377 gold medals at stake in 36 sports and are expected to attract more than 6,500 athletes from 41 countries and regions, will run from December 6 through 20. Back to the Top


  December 4

Top Sprinter Jayasinghe to Run in Asian Games

World women's 200 meters silver medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka will come for the Asian Games on Saturday and run in four events, a top official of the Sri Lankan delegation said in Bangkok on December 4.

Maiya Gunasekera, Chef de Mission of the Sri Lankan delegation, said the continent's most controversial track star Jayasinghe has not been affected by the doping scandal and is in a superb form.

"She has been totally cleared of the doping offence," said Gunasekera, who headed the country's delegation to arrive at the Bangkok international airport on the afternoon of December 4.

"She is in a good form and is ready to run. I believe she will win all the gold medals from the four events," he said.

The official said that Jayasinghe will arrive in Bangkok on December 6. Back to the Top


Japanese Official Unimpressed by Games Organizing

A leading Japanese sports official rebuffed Bangkok organizers' claim that the 13th Asian Games would be the greatest ever, a Thai newspaper reported on December 4.

"The 12th Asian Games in Hiroshima (in Japan) were better organized than the 13th Bangkok Asian Games," Japanese delegation head Karugi Kogake was quoted as saying by the English-language newspaper The Nation.

Kogake said he had found that Thailand's preparations could not compare with the Hiroshima edition in terms of competition organizing, the welcome and the condition of the residential accommodation.

His remarks were made three days before the opening of the Asian Games, from which the Saudi Arabia controversially withdrew recently.

The number of the competing countries and regions were reduced to 41 after the Saudi Arabian withdrawal, making the Hiroshima edition still the most widely competed in history at 42.

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December 6

Asian Games Opens in Bangkok

The 13th Asian Games opened in the Thai capital in Bangkok on December 5 with an extravaganza ceremony as Thailand is surfacing from its most severe financial crisis in decades. As prelude performance started at 18:00, Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej opened the Games at 20:24 in the 60,000-seat Rajmangala Stadium of the Hua Mark Sports Complex in Bangkok.

Chinese Vice Premier Li Lanqing, who is on a four-day official visit to Thailand, attended the opening ceremony.

Also attending the ceremony were leaders of the international sports organizations including the International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch and the Olympic Council of Asia President Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah.

About 10,000 athletes and officials from 41 countries and regions are participating in the Games, which features 377 gold medals in 36 disciplines including Asian specialities such as kabaddi and sepak takraw.

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Japanese Runner Breaks Asian Record in Women's Marathon

Japanese Naoko Takahashi broke the Asian record of the women's marathon when she covered the 42.195 kilometers in a time of 2:21:46 in Bangkok on December 5. The previous Asian record of 2:24:07 was set by famous Chinese runner Wang Junxia on April 4, 1993 in Tianjin, China. Back to the Top

Chinese Swimmers Face Uphill Battle in Asian Games

Against a full-fledged Japanese legion, the absentee-depleted Chinese swimming contingent faces a herculean task of keeping its supremacy in the pool at the 13th Asian Games.

For the first time in eight years, the Chinese swimmers are being tuned down as underdogs for the quadrennial regional sports gala where swimmers from 29 teams will start to splash the pool on Monday to chalk off the second biggest cake with 32 golds at stake.

"We will make our utmost efforts to win golds, but it's rather hard to edge over Japan in gold tally," said Chinese swimming spokesman Shi Tianshu. Back to the Top

Asian Games Soccer Second Round Groups

Following is the grouping for the second round of the Asian Games soccer tournament;

Group One - South Korea, Japan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates

Group Two - Turkmenistan, India, DPR Korea, Uzbekistan

Group Three - China, Tajikistan, Oman, Iran

Group Four - Lebanon, Qatar, Thailand, Kazakhstan Back to the Top

Groupings for Asiad Volleyball Competitions

Following are the groupings of the men's and women's volleyball competitions at the 13th Asian Games:


Group A: Lebanon, Thailand, India

Group B: Qatar, Mongolia, China, Indonesia

Group C: Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, Japan

Group D: Chinese Taipei, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Nepal


Group A: Japan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Thailand

Group B: South Korea, Chinese Taipei, DPR Korea, China

Back to the Top

Asian Games Opens in Bangkok

The 13th Asian Games opened in the Thai capital of Bangkok on Sunday with an extravaganza ceremony as the country is still battling the financial crisis.

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej declared the Games open at the 60,000-seat Rajmangala Stadium of the Hua Mark Sports Complex in Bangkok.

Chinese Vice Premier Li Lanqing, who is on a four-day official visit to Thailand, attended the opening ceremony.

Also attending the ceremony are leaders of the international sports organizations including the International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch and the Olympic Council of Asia President Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah.

About 10,000 athletes and officials from 42 countries and regions are participating in the Games, which features 377 gold medals in 36 sports.

Back to the Top

December 7

First World Record Broken At Asian Games

Chinese Liu Xiuhua bettered a world record by snatching up 83.5 kgs in the women's 48-kg category weightlifting competition of the Asian Games.

The previous record of 83 kgs was set up by Li Zhou of China on September 16, 1998, in the Chinese city of Chongqing.

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China Retains Gymnastics Man's Team Title

World champion China retained its team title with a total of 230.200 points in the gymnastics competition at the 13th Asian Games in Bangkok Monday evening.

China led all the way through vaulting horse, parallel bars, high bar, floor exercises, pommel horse and rings.

South Korea scored 225.750 points to take the silver medal while Japan came away with the bronze in 225.275 points.

This is the seventh time for China to win the men's team title in the Asian Games.

The members of the Chinese gold squad are world Champion Zhang Jingjin and his young teammates Huang Xu, Li Xiaopeng, Yang Wei, Xing Aowei and Zhao Sheng. The women's team final will take place on Tuesday evening.

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Samaranch Says China Fights All-out Battle Against Doping

International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch on Monday acknoledged China's seriousness in its fight against doping in sports.

"I will say that maybe China is one of the countries fighting with all its strength against doping -- and that is quite important for the IOC," said Samaranch in a press conference on Monday.

"I think today the fight against doping in China is an example for us all."

Talking about the 2008 Olympic candidates, the president said he encouraged all the cities to bid for the Games.

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South Korean Wins Finweight Title at Asiad Taekwondo

Park Hee-Kang of South Korea beat Nguyen Duy-Khuong of Vietnam 2-1 to take the gold medal of the men's finweight title at the Asiad taekwondo tournament in Bangkok on Monday.

Kishor Shrestha of Nepal and Wirat Pimthon of Thailand shared the bronze medal.

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Flash: Zeng Qiliang Wins Men's 100m Breaststroke Title

Chinese Zeng Qiliang clocked 1:02.32 to win the men's 100m breastroke swimming title in the Asian Games in Bangkok on Monday.

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Surprises Rule Shooting Range at Asiad

Surprises and "black horses" are the themes at the Hua Mark Sports Center shooting range when unheralded shooters from central Asian nations won the day's two individual titles.

Kazakhstan's Dina Aspandiyarova took the women's air pistol gold while Turkmenistan's Igor Pirekeev won the men's free rifle prone.

Chinese shooters carried home the silver and bronze medals, with Cai Yeqing notching 486.0 points and Ren Jie registering 484.6.

The team title went to China, who scored 1,151 to improve on their own Asian record of 1,138. Kazakhstan was second at 1,148 while South Korea third at 1,133.

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China Wins Men's Platform in Asian Games

Chinese diver Tian Liang collected 657.660 points to take the men's 10-meter platform diving title at the 13th Asian Games on Tuesday.

His compatriot Huang Qiang scored 574.020 points for a one-two finish for China, while S. Pichi had an accumulated score of 559.890 points for the bronze medal.

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China Beat Tajikistan 3-1 in Asiad Soccer

China beat Tajikistan 3-1 for their first victory in the second round of the Asiad soccer tournament on Tuesday.

The Chinese team, runners-up at the Hiroshima Asian Games, took an early lead at the 8th minute when Zhao Junzhe beat a off-side trap to put China 1-0 ahead.

The Chinese team totally outplayed their opponents in the first half, had a total shots of 12 to Tajikistan's one.

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Chinese Taipei Takes Women's 200m Freestyle in Asian Games

Chinese Taipei's Tsai Shu-min won the women's 200m freestyle final by clocking 2:00.89 in the Asian Games.

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Chinese Woman Racer Wins Cross Country Asiad Title

Ma Yanping of China took the women's cross country title at the 13th Asiad cycling competitions on Tuesday. The 20-year-old Chinese finished the distance fisrst in two hours seven minutes and 28 seconds, followed by Kanako Kobayashi of Japan in 2:11.45 while C. Singupatham of Thailand finished third in 2:17:34.

Back to the Top
Chinese Retain Women's Team Title in Asiad Gymnastics

One day after China's overwhelming victory in the men's team event, the Chinese girls snatched an even easier win and took the seventh straight Asian Games team title on Tuesday.

Japan picked up the silver with 146.812 points, which was 7.362 behind China's winning total of 154.174. Kazakhstan was third in 144.624.

The Chinese girls led all the way in the competition, topping every apparatus.

Beam world champion Liu Xuan scored 9.850 in her specialty event and floor world champion Kui Yuanyuan also got 9.850 points. Both marks were the highest of the day.

Kui also stayed first on the vaulting horse with 9.612 points. Teenager Ling Jie scored 9.825 to lead all the gymnasts on the uneven bars.

In her Asiad debut, Ling Jie is leading the top 24 athletes into the women's all-around finals on Thursday. Ling collected 38.375 points from four apparatus.

Liu and Kui also qualified for Thursday's finals.

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Mongolia Wins Men's 73-kg Judo Title in Asian Games

Haliun Boldbaatar of Mongolia outwitted Olympic champion Kenzo Nakamura of Japan to take the men's 73-kg judo title at the Bangkok Asian Games on Tuesday.

Andrey Shgurbadin of Uzbekistan and Kim Dae-Wook of South Korea shared in the third place.

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South Korea Wins Rugby Title in Asian Games

South Korea outpointed Japan 29-14 to take the rugby title of the 13th Asian Games on Tuesday.

Hosts Thailand awarded its home fans with a bronze by beating Chinese Taipei 19-5.

Hong Kong, China, ranked fifth after its 14-12 victory over Kazakhstan.

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Turkmenistan Wins First Asiad Gold From Shooting

Igor Pirekeev won the Turkmenistan's first Asian Games gold medal as he grabbed the men's free rifle prone shooting event.

Pirekeev, who posted 593 points in the preliminary rounds, scored the winning total of 697.2 points.

Thailand's Tavarit Majcharcheep landed the silver medal with 693.3 points and Japanese Naoki Kurita collected 691.1 points for the bronze.

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Chinese Weightlifter Breaks World Record

Chinese weightlifter Yang Xia broke the clean and jerk and total world records of the women's 53kg class at the Asian Games.

Yang Xia lifted 118 in her third attempt for a winning total of 210 kilograms.

The previous world record for the clean and jerk and total were 117.5 kilograms and 210.0 kilograms respectively.

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Huang Xu Awards China 6th Asiad All-around Title

Huang Xu of China surged ahead with a stable performence on his last apparatus of the pommel horse, scoring 57.825 points to win the man's all around title in the gymnastics competition at the 13th Asian Games.

China's Yang wei picked up the silver in 57.600 and Japan's Tsukiahara brought the bronze with 57.375.

The 19-year-old Huang Xu became the fourth Chinese gymnast to win the men's all-around crown, which China has been dominated since the 1978 Asian Game in the last 20 years.

Huang, a member of China's 1997 world champion team, led from the first rotation where he started from the rings and led all the way through four rotations before his leading place was taken over by one-year younger Yang Wei after five apparatus.

Huang was 0.025 points behind Yang when he jumped on the pommel horse. He received a good enough 9.575 points from a stable and nearly flawless display to retain the lead and captured the Asiad men's top honor.

Japan's Naoya Tsukahara, the bronze medalist in last year's World Championship, followed closely the Chinese teenagers but could not take over the lead with his low points of 9.350 and 9.400 on the horizontal bar and the floor.

China has won both the men's and women's team titles.

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Fu Yong Wins Men's 200m Backstroke at Asiad

Fu Yong of China won the title of the men's 200m backstroke at the 13th Asian Games.

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China Beats Japan in Asiad Volleyball

Newly-crowned Asian champion China overwhelmed its main rival Japan in the 13th Asian Games' men's volleyball group match.

The Chinese received little resistance from the Japanese in the first set which they won 15-3 with ease.

However, the Japanese came into life in the second set and dominated the match in most of the time. Though the Chinese tried to catch up, the Japanese took their revenge by winning the set 16-14.

The Chinese, though still not recovered from the World Championships last month, showed hundreds of enthusiastic Thai fans that they are the real No. 1 in Asia by winning the following two sets 15-9 and 15-8.

Chinese coach Wang Jiawei said after the match that he was quite satisfied with the performance of the players.

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Japan surprise Kuwait while South Korea and Uzbekistan qualify for quarter-finals

Japan coach Philippe Troussier praised his young charges for their determination and fighting spirit after his side came from behind to defeat Asian Games favourites Kuwait 2-1.

Japan's win keeps alive their hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals in second place in group two as two goals in the last seven minutes gave them a surprise win.

South Korea's 2-1 win over the United Arab Emirates earlier in the day, thanks to goals from Yoon Jong-hwan and Yoo Sang-chul, saw Japan's World Cup co-hosts qualify for the next phase of the competition leaving the fight for the second qualifying place to Japan and Kuwait.

The Kuwaitis looked to be joining Korea in the quarter-finals when they took the lead in the 70th minute through Farj Laheeb, now the tournament's joint top goalscorer with compatriot Jassem Al Houwaidi with eight goals in four games.

But the Japanese, who are fielding a side made up entirely of 19 and 20 year-olds, came back for an impressive victory.

"This was a big surprise," said Frenchman Troussier who took over after the resignation of Takeshi Okada.

China Sweeps All-around Titles in Asiad Gymnastics

Defending champion China captured both the men's and women's all-around titles in the gymnastics competition of the Asian Games on Wednesday, sweeping all the four gold medals on offer so far in the teams' and all-around contests.

The 19-year-old Liu Yuan crowned as the all-around queen with a total of 38.787 points by leading all the way through uneven bars, beam, floor exercises and vault. Irina Yevdokimova took the silver with 37.912 while Japan's Risa Sugawara picked up the bronze in 37.300.

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