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  • Assortment of Asian Athletes Depart Macao


    Indoor athletics are contested on a 200 meter track. (MAIGOC)  
    Fun Finishes at Asian Indoor Games

    The Asian Indoor Games baton passes to Vietnam, as the Olympic Movement's most eclectic multi-sport event closes in Macao.

    The 24 events and nine days of competition – all headquartered at a giant casino – put the spotlight on sports that are usually in the margins.

    The medal tally reflects the obstinately regional appeal of some sports. Kabaddi gold went to India, silver to Pakistan, and a pair of bronzes to Bangladesh and Iran. Of the four events in Xiangqi, a strategic board game native to China, that country won three golds. Medals in dragon dance and lion dance went to China, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Taipei and Hong Kong.

    Southeast Asian teams also cleaned up in hoop sepaktakraw. Myanmar's men and women – 12 of the country's
    Rock climbing depends on strength to grasp handholds at extreme angles. (MAIGOC)  
    entire athlete contingent of 14 – both took silver.

    Finswimming, cycleball, electronic sports, skateboarding, stunt skating and eight disciplines of cue sports were among the sights for the 35,000 people who picked up a free pass.

    China topped the podium with 102 medals altogether, followed by Thailand at 69 and Hong Kong at 35, as competition ended on Nov. 3.

    One drug test during the games led to the ejection of Afghanistan nine-ball player Habibi Najeebullah, who tested positive for cannabinoids.

    Olympic Council of Asia president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah thanked the hosts at a press conference as the games closed.

    "We are very proud of the preparation of the Macao organizing committee and the Macao government for their support," he said.

    The Sheikh also endorsed Macao's move to join the IOC.

    Games official partner Venetian Macao Resort Hotel, a massive casino owned by Las Vegas Sands, served as headquarters hotel and provided space for the closing ceremony and press conferences.
    Some 3,000 athletes from 45 countries took part in the Asian Indoor Games. (Getty Images)  
    Companhia de Telecomunicacoes de Macau, one of the city's telecoms providers, was the other official partner.

    The third Asian Indoor Games is scheduled for Vietnam in 2009. Hanoi and other northern cities will host at least 13 sports and the opening ceremony, eight others sports will be held in southern venues including Ho Chi Minh City. Organizers plan to enlarge the sport roster by several more martial arts, petanque and perhaps others.

    Trampoline Competitions Finish

    Russia, China and Canada take the top spots at the Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships in Quebec City. The event, which determines the world champion in 15 trampoline disciplines, began on Oct. 29. Only two events – men's and women's individual trampoline – are on the Olympic schedule. With Quebec results tallied, 12 countries earned a men's slot in Beijing, and 10 countries will send women. Australia's men gained one spot by invitation as did the women of Georgia and the U.S. There is still one invitation left for both the men's and women's competitions.

    The world age group competitions, organized for teenaged athletes to compete within their own age cohort, continue in Quebec City through Nov. 10.

    The championships are staged by FIG, the international gymnastics federation.

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