Thailand bringing most athletes to SEA Games

By Hieu Luong   April 3, 2023 | 05:05 pm PT
Thailand bringing most athletes to SEA Games
The Thailand sports delegation at the opening ceremony of SEA Games 31 in Hanoi in 2022. Photo by Thai Public Broadcasting Service
Thailand is expected to bring 1,100 athletes to SEA Games 32 in Cambodia, more than any other country participating at the event.

According to the Cambodia SEA Games Organizing Committee (CAMSOC), at least 11,400 athletes from 11 Southeast Asian countries will compete in this year’s SEA Games and Para Games.

But this number may change as the delegations have yet to announce their final official lists of participating athletes.

Deputy Director of CAMSOC Thong Khon said that Thailand has reported its goal is to claim 112 gold medals at this year’s event.

At SEA Games 31 in Vietnam last year, Thailand brought 871 athletes and won 92 gold medals to rank second overall, after the host.

This year, the Philippines is expected to bring the second highest number of athletes to the event, with 840 participants.

Vietnam is bringing the fourth highest number of participants with 744 athletes, less than the last two SEA Games, in which the country brought 856 and 965 athletes, respectively. The lower number has been attributed to budgetary issues.

Vietnam’s stated goal for this year’s event is to win from 90 to 120 gold medals.

The National Olympic Committee of Thailand and the National Sports Development Fund plan to spend about $4.5 million on their athletes attending the SEA Games and Para Games in Cambodia this year.

As for the Malaysian delegation, 390 athletes are spending their own money to participate, and 287 athletes have their expenses fully or partially covered by the nation’s governing sports federation. Any participant who wins a medal will have their expenses refunded by the Malaysian Olympic Committee.

SEA Games 32 will take place May 5-17 in the five cities of Phnom Penh, Kep, Kampot, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. Some 37 sports will be part of the event. The Para Games 12 will be held in Phnom Penh June 3 to 9, with the inclusion of 13 sports.

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