King to receive Olympic award
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King to receive Olympic award

IOC chief Bach to visit Thailand in November

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach will visit Thailand in November and present His Majesty the King with the IOC Award, officials said yesterday.

Gen Yutthasak Sasiprabha, president of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand (NOCT), said Bach would take part in the 65th executive council meeting of the Association of the National Olympic Committees (ANOC) at the Centara Grand Bangkok from Nov 5-7.

It will be Bach's first visit to Thailand after he was elected IOC president to succeed Jacques Rogges last September.

During his visit, the German will present His Majesty the King with the IOC Award.

Nat Indrapana, Thailand's IOC member, said the IOC planned to present the King with the award four years ago to honour His Majesty on his 80th birthday anniversary.

But the plan was shelved because of several inconvenient factors, Nat said.

"President Bach says this year is the right time," Nat said. "During a talk with Bach at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing last month, we agreed that it is the right time to present the great honour to His Majesty the King.

"The award is only for heads of states who have made great contributions to sports."

The King was an athlete when he was younger. He used to play several sports and won a gold medal in sailing at the Southeast Asian Peninsular (SEAP) Games (now the SEA Games) in 1967.

The King has been a patron of several sports associations and tournaments. His Majesty has also presided over the opening ceremony of the Asian Games on several occasions when Thailand hosted the quadrennial event.

Meanwhile, Yutthasak said the NOCT was spending 42 million baht to organise the ANOC meeting with representatives from more than 200 countries expected to join the conference.

The members will elect a new president of the ANOC which is now under Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah of Kuwait.

There will be gala dinner to give awards to outstanding athletes. Among the guests will be Olympic swimming great Michael Phelps of the US.

Regarding to the fourth Asian Beach Games in Phuket from Nov 14-23, Yutthasak said that so far 26 sports (169 gold medals) had been confirmed.

The organising budget is about 1.06 billion baht, he said.

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