Thais vow to wrest back overall title in 2025

Thais vow to wrest back overall title in 2025

Kingdom ready to stage biennial event

A show by 2025 host country Thailand during the closing ceremony of the 32nd SEA Games at Morodok Techno National Stadium in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. (Photo: Reuters)
A show by 2025 host country Thailand during the closing ceremony of the 32nd SEA Games at Morodok Techno National Stadium in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. (Photo: Reuters)

Thailand aim to regain the overall title at the next SEA Games on home soil in 2025.

The Thais finished second in the medal table with 108 golds at the 32nd edition in Cambodia which ended on Wednesday.

Vietnam retained the overall crown with 136 golds.

Ahead of the tournament, the Thai sports associations, which took part in Cambodia 2023, that began on May 5, predicted they would win a total of 112 gold medals.

Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) governor Gongsak Yodmani said yesterday Thailand were the overall champions at Cambodia 2023 in "international sports" which feature at the Olympics and Asian Games.

Citing information from his Elite Sports Development Department, the governor said Thailand were ranked first with 54 gold medals won in international sports, followed by Vietnam, who took home 52 golds and Indonesia (35).

Cambodia finished fourth with 81 golds but won only 10 golds in international sports, according to Gongsak.

The hosts won a large number of gold medals in their own martial arts Kun Khmer and Kun Bokator.

Thai Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon waves the SEA Games flag at the end of Cambodia 2023. afp NHAC NGUYEN

Thailand did not take part in the disciplines, saying they are in fact Muay Thai.

Having failed to win the overall crown for four Games in a row, Thailand aim to reclaim the title at the 2025 Games to be held in Bangkok, Chon Buri and Songkhla, Gongsak said.

"We must win back the overall title," he said.

Thailand will focus on organising sports which are included in the Olympics and Asian Games, Gongsak said.

He said the SEA Games Federation Council has approved new regulations which allow the host country to organise only four "regional sports" with a maximum of eight gold medals in each discipline.

"This will lift the standard of the Games and could help athletes in their preparations for the Olympics and Asian Games," Gongsak said.

On Wednesday night, the SEA Games flag was handed over to Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Olympic chief Prawit Wongsuwon as the country will host the 33rd edition from Dec 7-19, 2025.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen declared the Games closed and the cauldron was extinguished at Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh.

Thailand's chief of delegation Thana Chaiprasit said the country is ready to host the 2025 tournament.

He said the country has vast experience in hosting international sporting events and will organise the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Bangkok and Chon Buri in November this year.

"We are ready to stage the 2025 SEA Games," said Thana. "We should not have any problems with venues, accommodation, transportation and security."

Thai performers promote the country's tom yum kung and mango sticky rice at the closing ceremony of the 2023 SEA Games. reuters Chalinee Thirasupa

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