Busanan probably cracked under the pressure of the burden of expectation, just as she did at the WJC when it was held in her home country;otherwise I've no doubt she would deliver here. I think even Nguyen Tien Minh was feeling the pressure.
Anyway, congratulations to all the winners. Well done.
Myanmar, the host country, has lost its lead to Thailand, despite its introduction of new games like Chinlone (a bit like sepak takraw, but without a net) from which it won six gold medals.
Indonesia and Vietnam are very close behind Thailand at this stage, but who will be the eventual winner with the most number of golds and the most medals?
As usual, Singapore scored the most golds from swimming which has perhaps just one more day to go for our swimmers to shine.
Athletics, which normally offers the most number of medals, started yesterday and this is unfortunately a weak link in Singapore sports. Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar are expected to fight for the gold medals.
But Singapore can look forward to winning in Sailing, Table Tennis and Bowling.
Good luck to all SEA athletes and may they break many more records.
THA is unstoppable to top medal tally with 107 golds including grabbed the most popular sport, football gold medal after defeated INA 1-0 yesterday. Thailand contigent is the King of SEA Games in this edition, they managed runner-up position two years ago. Congrats
While INA slips to #4 behind THA, MYA and VIE, many factors why INA contingent failed to fullfill the target. Next year Incheon Asian Games will be tough challenge for SEA athletes to shine there where Asia big three will dominate the Asiad.
The Myanmar team playing chinlone at the SEA Games. Every SEA Games host tries to maximise their medal chances by including sports they excel at. - AFP Photo
I WAS blessed with the opportunity to cover the 27th SEA Games in both the former and present capital cities of Myanmar.
The difference between the bustling Yangon and the ghostly Naypyitaw is like day and night.
Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is a metropolis of over five million people and continues to be the main commercial centre of Myanmar.
Teeming with colonial buildings, golden-domed pagodas, mosques, roads choked with traffic jams and street hawkers, the city is a hive of round-the-clock activity. Yangon reminds me very much of Bangkok, minus the monster-sized shopping malls.
In contrast, Naypyitaw is the spanking new city with mega buildings and a 12-lane highway. But as my colleagues based in Naypyitaw have groused, there is nothing much to do or any interesting places to visit in the administrative capital.
The roads are deserted most of the time, regardless whether it is day or night.
Naypyitaw is populated by migrants, who are mostly from Yangon, and even the Games volunteers were shipped from the former capital city for the duration of the Games.
Many locals I came across in Yangon (who could converse in English) were disappointed that Yangon, which hosted the Games twice in 1961 and 1969, was only awarded a handful of sports this time around despite being the biggest city in Myanmar.
But then, it is the prerogative of the Myanmar government and organising committee to hold the Games anywhere they please.
The same is true in deciding which sports to host. Apart from a handful of core sports like athletics, aquatics, football and shooting, the host country can pick and choose their own sports for a SEA Games.
So, when Singapore, host of the 2015 SEA Games, released its tentative list of 30 sports, there was a furore in the Malaysian camp.
One of the sports left out of the list is karate, which has just delivered a whopping seven gold medals for Malaysia in Myanmar.
As expected, the Malaysian Karate-do Federation (Makaf) are unhappy.
The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) have pledged to seek the reinstatement of Malaysia’s golden goose during the next SEA Games Federation meeting.
Indonesia and Thailand are also affected as weightlifting and muay are not on the list either.
There is no point blaming Singapore of unfairness because they are just trying to maximise their chances of winning gold medals on their own turf.
What’s all the fuss about, since the other countries, including Malaysia, are also guilty of doing the same?
In the 2001 Kuala Lumpur Games, we introduced lawn bowls to our non-Commonwealth neighbours.
Two years later in Vietnam, shuttlecock kicking was included. But, of all the sports introduced by the SEA Games host countries, ballroom dancing at the Manila Games 2005 has to take the cake as being the most ridiculous – and for being considered a sport in the first place.
Two years ago, Indonesia included paragliding and wall climbing. Both sports offered a combined 22 gold medals and played their part in helping the hosts top the medal standings.
In Myanmar, we have chinlone, a traditional sport which is akin to a crossover between sepaktakraw bulatan and street dancing.
To this end, I salute Singapore for coming up with a list which mostly includes either sports contested at the Olympic or Asian Games levels, or those that are popular and widely played by countries in the region.
May the likes of chinlone, ballroom dancing, shuttlecock kicking, fin swimming and bridge not be seen again at a SEA Games competition.
For the record, the Singapore 2015 Games’ tentative list includes aquatics, athletics, sailing, table tennis, canoeing, bowling, wushu, fencing, netball, gymnastics, billiards and snooker, hockey, softball, waterskiing, golf, football, shooting, badminton, cycling, tennis, pencak silat, sepaktakraw, rugby, basketball, traditional boat race, archery, triathlon, judo, taekwondo and squash.
NAYPYIDAW — It was certainly not by design, but the motley collection of costume-clad dancers, performers and rattan-ball juggling boys outside Naypyidaw’s Wunna Theikdi Stadium had already kicked off an impromptu carnival-like show hours before last night’s closing ceremony extravaganza for the 27th SEA Games.
Spectators milling about the 30,000-seat arena were treated to an up-close experience — and photo sessions — with many performers ahead of their appearance in the wrap-up party for the region’s biggest sporting event.
Over the past 12 days, they savoured the experience and joy of Myanmar’s biggest coming-out party in 44 years since the nation last hosted the Games in 1969. And as the stadium lights dimmed for the closing celebrations last night, a sea of red, blue and green glow sticks danced and waved all night as the country bade farewell to two weeks of sports, friendship and entertainment.
Even local athletics legend Jennifer Tin Lay — she owns a record 15 gold in the shot put and discus at the SEA Games — was spotted waving a clapper to the show’s music.
The loudest cheers were reserved for the local heroes — 86 gold, 52 silver and 85 bronze medallists — who took centre stage on a night of cultural dance, traditional songs, dazzling light shows and fireworks.
Loud applause and cheers also rang out as Singapore — hosts of the next SEA Games in 2015 — put on an energetic eight-minute display comprising hip-hop dance, sports-inspired moves and crowd-pleasing local songs.
Yesterday’s ceremony also saw Tint Hsan, Chairman of the Myanmar SEA Games Organising Committee, handing over the SEA Games flag to Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Singapore’s Acting Manpower Minister and executive committee member of the Singapore National Olympic Council.
There were also impromptu moments of amusement for Team Singapore as the paddlers and divers marched out for the athletes’ parade with the Muay martial arts contingent.
The closing song, Let’s Meet Again, echoed around the cavernous stadium, as Singapore looks to deliver a similarly warm welcome to its ASEAN neighbours on June 2015 at the 55,000-seat National Stadium.