CLASSIFIEDS ONLY THB 2,500 + VAT FOR 3 LANGUAGES The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News
The Phuket News Olympics News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World  | Surf Report  | Predictions XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Southeast Asia medal prospects look dismal

OLYMPICS: Shoddy management and a lack of funds look set to condemn Southeast Asia to yet another dismal Olympics, with one expert warning the region’s sport even faces “collapse” without a drastic re-think.


Agence France-Presse

Friday 13 July 2012, 03:19PM


Thailand’s Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon was one of only 12 Southeast Asian medallists in Beijing.

Home to around 600 million people, surging economies and a massive sporting fanbase, the group of nations stretching from Myanmar to Indonesia – and including Thailand – ought to be catching the eye at the world’s greatest sporting event.

Instead, there are few title contenders making the trip to London, as enduring poverty, threadbare facilities, skewed funding and a focus on non-Olympic sports strangle the pipeline of talent.

There are some bright spots: Malaysia boasts the world’s second ranked badminton player, Lee Chong-Wei, while Indonesia will look to maintain its record of a gold for its shuttlers at every Games since 1992.

Thailand offers a smattering of weightlifters; the Philippines, whose vaunted boxers are mainly chasing professional riches, has its hopes pinned to its shooters; and Singapore will send some strong swimmers and 2008 team table tennis silver medallist Feng Tianwei.

Yet among the 11 nations who contest the regional showpiece Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, there are no realistic medal prospects in the headline track and field events.

The statistics make grim reading – Southeast Asian nations harvested just a dozen medals combined in Beijing four years ago.

It was a paltry return given the region’s size, put further into context by the 13 podium places claimed by sporting minnow Kazakhstan.

QSI International School Phuket

“The risk is that sport in our region collapses,” warns Santiparb Tejavanija, an advisor to the Olympic Council of Asia.

Under-investment results in a lack of facilities, financing and top-level coaching, and short-changes athletes and the patriotic millions they represent, explains Santiparb.

But the bigger picture, according to Greg Wilson, an Australian advising the Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI), is that a lack of ambition by poorly run sporting bodies means any funding goes to regional, not global, competition.

Others lament a preoccupation with traditional sports which are virtually unknown outside the region, such as sepak takraw. Bad healthcare and diet, high rates of smoking and the fact many people hold down several jobs preclude mass participation in sport, draining the pool of available talent.

However, the outlook is not entirely gloomy. Indonesia (badminton) and Thailand (weightlifting) have shown success within particular disciplines can inspire young athletes and catalyse more funding.

“London could be the watershed, where people finally say ‘hang on, why are we so far behind the rest of the world?’” adds Wilson.

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
comments powered by Disqus
The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
World Entertainment
Photo Galleries
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2018 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.