NAY PYI TAW, Myanmar (VNS) — The 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games closed yesterday in Nay Pyi Taw, marking the end of a prestigious tournament for which athletes spent two years in training.
|Curtain call: The SEA Games Federation flag was given to a Singapore Olympic Committee representative at the closing ceremony yesterday in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. The 28th Games will be held in Singapore in June, 2015. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Nhut
After 11 official days of competitions, Thailand topped the medal table with 107 gold medals. Host Myanmar ranked second with 86, while Viet Nam came third with 73.
Addressing the ceremony, Tint San, Union Minister of Sports, said: "During the Games, athletes have won medals by showing strong determination, great courage and true sportsmanship. Although the religions, cultures and traditions are different for each country, all the athletes have participated to create several proud moments for the games and show the power of sports to unite people."
"The SEA Games also provided clear evidence of the tremendous spirit of friendship and unity among ASEAN member countries. I am convinced that, in the near future, with the help of the close and deep relations among members, the sports sector and its standards will improve rapidly across the region," he noted.
"I would like to express my profound gratitude to the distinguished guests for their presence and would also like to offer thanks to the referees, judges, coaches and athletes who participated in the SEA Games, as well as to all the other individuals involved in the management of the Games," he added.
Myanmar Vice President Nyan Htun then declared the end of the biennial tournament.
"The competitions have been fair and used modern equipment consistent with the standards of modern-day sports fields and stadiums. I believe that, during the SEA Games, we have been able to promote some important and basic values, such as love for the country, unity, tolerance and philanthropy. I also believe the Games will give young people new hope for the future, as well as new strength to develop their countries further," he said.
He noted that the SEA Games provided a great opportunity for Myanmar to build a cultural bridge among the "ASEAN brothers" to strengthen trust and friendship. In Nay Pyi Taw, athletes from 11 countries competed in the true spirit of sportsmanship, which made them honoured heroes, he added.
The vice president expressed hope that he would see the participants again in Singapore, which will host the 28th edition of the Games in 2015.
He also wished success to all the participants of the Para Games, which will be held in early January in the capital.
It will be the fourth time that Singapore hosts the SEA Games; the last time it hosted the event was in 1993.
The 28th SEA Games, which will have 30 sports, is scheduled to be held in the summer of 2015, from June 5-16.
Viet Nam's achievements
Viet Nam finished SEA Games 2013 with 73 gold medals.
On Saturday, the last day of the Games, Vietnamese athletes won six medals from muay, taekwondo, vovinam and kempo.
Kempo competitor Do Hong Ngoc won in the women's 48kg category, while teammates Le Duong Lan Phuong and Tran Thi My Duyen triumphed in the women's kumi embu (artistic) pair yudansha.
Fighter Nguyen Trong Cuong defeated his Lao rival, Sophal Mao, to win the title in the men's under-87kg category in taekwondo.
Muay fighters Bui Yen Ly and Nguyen Thi Ngoc bagged gold medals in the women's 51kg and 60kg, respectively.
The remaining two titles were won by vovinam martial artists Nguyen Thi Kim Hoang and Ho Minh Tam in the women's 55kg and men's 65kg classes, respectively.
Talking about Viet Nam's achievement, Chief-de-Mission Lam Quang Thanh said: "There was tough competition between countries, especially Viet Nam, Myanmar and Indonesia, to become one of the top three overall medal winners. While the number of medals is not high, we have achieved our target. Viet Nam are in third place, so I personally believe that it was a successful event for us."
"It shows that our athletes tried their best and won several medals, despite difficulties and challenges," Thanh noted.
Thanh pointed out that the team also suffered unexpected failures in some sports, including men's football. "Our sport officials will meet and discuss that issue when they return home," he added. — VNS