Saturday, April 19, 2014

Indian Martial Art City girl set to pack a punch in Asian Games

From the by-lanes of Dewan Devdi of Charminar locality, 19-year-old Syeda Falak has become the first-ever in martial arts from the city to make it to the Indian team for the Incheon (South Korea) Asian Games scheduled for September.
Falak will be competing in the 68 kg category of Kumite event for senior women in the Asiad by virtue of wining a gold in the KAI National championship in Delhi last December.
“It is a dream come true. When I started off at 12, it was for purely for fitness and self-defence. But within a few months, my coaches noticed my improvement. The first international medal I won in Nepal (2007) was perhaps the turning point of my career,” says the BA second year student of Villa Marie College.

With solid support from parents – S. S. Majaz-ul-Haq and Amena Fatima, this young talent is quite determined to script a memorable chapter. “The national camp in Bhopal from the 20th of this month should be a great experience as I will be training with some of the best in India and also trying to pick up a few new tricks in the art,” says a confident Falak, who idolises four-time world champion Rafael Aghayev of Azerbaijan.


Japan has announced their rosters for the 2014 Pan Pac Championships and the 2014 Asian Games, and despite a stellar performance at their National Championship week, the Japanese are sending relatively small rosters to both meets.
They are only sending 22 swimmers to the Pan Pac Championships and 21 to the Asian Games. The only differences between the two rosters are on the men’s side, Junya Koga taking the spot of Takeharu Fujimori; and on the women’s side, Mio Motegi dropping from the roster.
By comparison, Japan sent 29 to the 2010 Asian Games.
The 2014 Pan Pac Championships will be held from August 21st-25th in Gold Coast, Australia. The 2014 Asian Games run from September 19th through October 4th in Incheon, South Korea.
12th Pan Pacific Championships (2014 / Gold Coast)
[Men] – 13 people
Shinri Shioura (Brightman eastward)
Kosuke Hagino (Toyo University)
Takeshi Matsuda (SEGA)
Yuki Kobori (Nihon University / Central Sports)
Daiya Seto (Waseda University / JSS Moroyama)
Ryosuke Irie (Brightman eastward)
Yasuhiro Koseki (Miki)
Kazuki Kohinata (Meiji University / Central Sports)
Takuro Fujii (Konami)
Hirofumi Ikebata (Hosei University)
Kenta Hirai (Meiji University / Central Sports)
Hiromasa Fujimoro (Miki)
Takeharu Fujimori (Nippon Sport Science University)
[Women] – 9
Miki Uchida (Toyo University)
Miyuki Takemura (Brightman)
Kanako Watanabe (Musashino high school / JSS Tateishi Daiwa)
Satomi Suzuki (Miki)
Rie Kaneto (Jaked)
Mio Motegi ( Hosei University / Renaissance Makuhari)
Natsumi Hoshi (Mizuno)
Miho Takahashi (Nihon University / Central Sports)
Sakiko Shimizu (Nippon Sport Science University)
17th Asian Games (2014 / Incheon)
[Men's] – 13
Shinri Shioura (Brightman eastward)
Kosuke Hagino (Toyo University)
Takeshi Matsuda (SEGA)
Yuki Kobori (Nihon University / Central Sports)
Daiya Seto (Waseda University / JSS Moroyama)
Ryosuke Irie (Brightman eastward)
Yasuhiro Koseki (Miki)
Kazuki Kohinata (Meiji University / Central Sports)
Takuro Fujii (Konami)
Hirofumi Ikebata (Hosei University)
Kenta Hirai (Meiji University / Central Sports)
Hiromasa Fujimoro (Miki)
Junya Koga (Daiichi Sankyo)
[Women's] – 8
Miki Uchida (Toyo University)
Miyuki Takemura (Brightman)
Kanako Watanabe (Musashino high school / JSS Tateishi Daiwa)
Satomi Suzuki (Miki)
Rie Kaneto (Jaked)
Mio Motegi ( Hosei University / Renaissance Makuhari)
Natsumi Hoshi (Mizuno)
Miho Takahashi (Nihon University / Central Sports)
Sakiko Shimizu (Nippon Sport Science University)

Economists urge Vietnam to relinquish 2019 Asian Games

Vietnam should relinquish the 2019 Asian Games (Asiad), economists said, citing poorly made plans and its inability to make use of the economic opportunities it would throw up.

Le Dang Doanh, former chief of the Central Institute for Economic Management, told Thoi bao Kinh te Sai Gon (Saigon Times) Online newspaper that Vietnam bid for the Games based on poor planning.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's plans were not carefully reviewed or debated, especially from the economic angle, he said.

The estimated cost of hosting the event is still unclear.
Hoang Vinh Giang, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Olympic Committee, told online newspaper Dan Tri earlier this week that the ministry had calculated the cost of the event at over VND4.16 trillion (US$196.5 million), and the government will cover over 76 percent of it, or $150 million.
After winning the bid, the ministry sent another proposal to the Ministry of Finance, saying the total cost would be around $255 million, 96 percent of which will come from the exchequer, online newspaper VTC News reported.

Faced with the finance ministry’s objection, the ministry later adjusted the cost down to $150 million and claimed that 72 percent of it would come from non-government sources, the report said.
However, in its latest reports to the government and the National Assembly, the ministry said it would cost the government $150 million, but that would be just 28 percent of the total cost.

In other words, the total cost could be over $535 million, of which 72 percent would come from non-government sources.

Doanh told Thoi bao Kinh te Sai Gon Online that the ministry failed to explain what these sources would be and how they would be persuaded to bring in the money.
He said he did not support Vietnam’s hosting of the 2019 Asiad because the country is not well prepared for it.
“It will be shameful to back out, but it is better than not withdrawing.”
Pham Chi Lan, another economist, also said that Vietnam should relinquish the right to host the Games since the cost would likely increase in future and the economy is still mired in difficulty.
Nguyen Duc Thanh, director of the Vietnam Centre for Economic and Policy Research at the Vietnam National University in Hanoi, agreed.
Vietnam is unlikely to make good use of the opportunities brought by the hosting of the Asia, he said.
For the event to become a real boost to the economy, all sectors, especially  private, have to be given an equal chance to take part in the opportunities like building infrastructure, transport services, and tourism, he said.
But it is impossible in Vietnam, where such projects are often awarded to state-owned firms, Thoi bao Kinh Te Sai Gon Online quoted him as saying.
While the event would offer Vietnam the chance to speed up economic restructure, the country is not ready to make use of it, Thanh said.
“Pulling out does not mean Vietnam will lose prestige. We will lose much more prestige by doing things badly.”
Tran Dinh Thien, chief of the Vietnam Institute for Economy, said if the government boldly changes its ways and encourages the private sector’s participation, the Games would help develop the economy.
But he doubted that such large and deep changes could be effected within a few years.
“If we feel that we cannot do it, it is better to give up [the Games] at the earliest,” he said.

20 hotels to provide accommodation for 2015 SEA Games

SINGAPORE: Athletes, officials and delegates coming to Singapore for the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games next year will be housed in a "Village in the City", instead of in university hostels.

The Singapore Southeast Asian Games Organising Committee (SINGSOC) on Wednesday announced that 20 hotels within the Havelock, Tanjong Pagar/Chinatown and Marina areas will be awarded the tender to provide accommodation for those attending the 2015 SEA Games.

Over 7,000 athletes and officials will be staying in these hotels.

Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore at Zhongshan Park are two of the 20 hotels that have been chosen to house athletes and officials during the SEA Games next year.

Located in Balestier, the hotels have 789 rooms in total and all of them are on offer.

The hotels said having a shopping mall within their premises and other amenities could have helped them win the bid.

Norman Cross, executive assistant manager for F&B at Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore at Zhongshan Park, said: "The Balestier heritage trail... offers guests a look, or a glimpse into Singapore's past. And to promote Singapore's food culture, there are so many eateries nearby, which are well renowned."

The hotels added that they are confident of giving guests a good experience, even if they haven't handled groups on such a large scale before.

Mr Cross said: "We will be working very closely with the SEA Games officials on this note. Definitely, it is a little bit more stringent, but I believe we can foster a very close working relationship with the SEA Games Council to provide our foreign guests a welcoming and enjoyable experience."

Fifty-one hotels participated in the tender, and others selected include the Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore and Marina Bay Sands.

Based on the concept of “Celebration in the City”, SINGSOC said it decided to house the athletes and officials near the Singapore Sports Hub and areas where the majority of the sports competitions and fringe events will take place.

Other criteria included the number of hotel rooms offered, catering services and the availability of function rooms and other supporting amenities.

"The 28th SEA Games will celebrate and showcase sport against the backdrop of Singapore's stunning city setting.

“We want our SEA Games athletes and officials to enjoy our city's unique flavours, sights and sounds, even as they focus on competing at their best," said Lim Teck Yin, chairman of the exco committee at SINGSOC.

"We are very appreciative of the hotels' support and effort for this historic event. The 28th SEA Games is an important event in our calendar of celebrations for Singapore's 50th anniversary next year, and for the entire Southeast Asian region.

“We are confident that our SEA Games athletes and officials will have an enjoyable stay and return home with wonderful memories of the Games and Singapore," added Mr Lim.

To ensure that housing athletes and officials in hotels would be a cost-effective arrangement, SINGSOC said it had carefully evaluated the alternative of a centralised athlete's village in university hostels.

Its study showed that the costs would be comparable because of the need to install additional arrangements for the Games, such as security fencing, and to restore conditions on return.

The committee said the hotels which participated in the tender had also "taken onboard their role in this national effort and had offered attractive packages".

The 28th SEA Games will be held from 5-16 June 2015, with Singapore Sports Hub as the main venue for the Games.

List of hotels:

1. Amara Singapore
2. Copthorne King's Hotel
3. Days Hotel Singapore At Zhongshan Park
4. Fairmont Singapore
5. Furama City Centre Singapore
6. Furama Riverfront Singapore
7. Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
8. Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel
9. Village Hotel Bugis
10. M Hotel Singapore
11. Marina Bay Sands
12. Marina Mandarin Singapore
13. Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay
14. PARKROYAL on Beach Road
15. PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road
16. Peninsula.Excelsior Hotel
17. Ramada Singapore At Zhongshan Park
18. Resorts World Sentosa - Hard Rock Hotel and Festive Hotel
19. Swissotel The Stamford
20. Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Filipino riders will have a chance to earn national team berths in the 17th Asian Games

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino riders will have a chance to earn national team berths in the 17th Asian Games in South Korea when they race against a tough international field in the 2014 Le Tour de Filipinas.
PhilCycling president and Cavite 7th District Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino Tuesday announced that the top Filipino finishers in the four-day bikathon have strong chances of earning slots in the national team to the Asiad slated Sept. 19 to Oct. 4.

“The Le Tour de Filipinas has always been a determinant on how strong our cyclists are because it is an international race participated in not only by the best cyclists in Asia, but also potent riders from around the world,” said Tolentino.

Of the 15 teams that will race in the Le Tour, an advocacy of PhilCycling chair Bert Lina and presented by Air21, 13 are foreign with the majority of them continental squads registered with the International Cycling Union.

The local teams are 7-Eleven Road Bike Philippines, powered by 2012 Le Tour champion Jonifer “Baler” Ravina and two-time Tour winner Mark Galedo, and Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance.

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South Korea hopeful of North Korea taking part in Incheon Asian Games

INCHEON: Come September, the 17th Asian Games will kick off in South Korea, and many will be tuning in to see if North Korea will join the other 44 participating Asian nations in the march past.
Tensions might be high between the two Koreas on the political front, but it could be more palatable from a sporting perspective.
Channel NewsAsia finds out why it is important for North Korea to attend the Asian Games.
When South Korea hosted the Asian Games in Busan in 2002, North Korean cheerleaders stole the show.
It was a symbolic and rare occasion, bringing athletes and officials from the two Koreas together.
Twelve years on, the Organising Committee for the Incheon Asian Games is confident of a similar outcome.
Mr Kim Young Soo, President of the Organising Committee for the Incheon Asian Games, said: "There's no doubt they will attend. On this assumption, we are preparing for their accommodation, transportation, safety and everything else so that all is in order."
He said with only about five months left before the start of the games, it would be difficult to field a joint unified team for some sporting events.
Mr Kim said: "But there's still a lot of room left to have a joint cheerleading team or to enter the games together. We are still very hopeful that North Korea will very soon announce its participation and propose talks to discuss these issues."
North Korea has until mid-August to decide on its participation.
North and South Korea have competed in the past as a unified team in major sporting events - like the 2002 Busan Asian Games, the Summer Olympics in 2000 and 2004, as well as the 2006 Winter Games.
Sports brings different nations together to compete in friendship and organisers are hopeful that the 17th Incheon Asian Games could be a catalyst for peace as it celebrates its games motto of 'Diversity Shines Here'.
Mr Kim said: "We are hopeful that this could help improve relations between South and North Korea. And that's why we think it is very important that North Korea attends."
North Korea's attendance is also significant as it would mean all 45 Asian nations will be taking part as they did at the last Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, four years ago.
With only about five months left before the start of the games, it remains to be seen if ties between the South and North Korea will improve, allowing the two Koreas to march together under a unified Korea flag at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Asian Games. 

Following multiple World Cup medals, Confident Son talks Asiad gold

INCHEON, April 15 (Yonhap) -- Having grabbed multiple medals on the World Cup circuit, South Korean rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-jae said Tuesday she has set her sights on this year's Asian Games on her native soil.
Son returned home after competing at FIG World Cup events in Portugal and Italy earlier this month. She captured four titles at a FIG World Cup stop in Lisbon during the first weekend of April, including the individual all-around gold medal. Son is the first South Korean rhythmic gymnast to win an individual all-around gold at a senior international competition.
The following weekend in Pesaro, Italy, Son won the silver in clubs and the bronze in ball. She also set her personal-high with 18.100 points in the preliminary for hoop, though she came up shy of a podium finish in the apparatus.
The 19-year-old has now won at least a medal in her past eight World Cups. She is now eyeing more success at the Asian Games starting this September in Incheon, a metropolitan city just west of Seoul.
"My goal is to win the individual all-around gold medal at the Asian Games," she said. "I also hope to do well at the team event."

   Son won the bronze in the individual all-around at the previous Asian Games, held in Guangzhou, China, in 2010. It was the first rhythmic gymnastics medal by a South Korean at any international event.
Son and her three teammates finished fourth in the team competition, 0.6 point behind the bronze medal-winning Japanese team.
Son finished fifth in the individual all-around at the 2012 London Olympics, the best South Korean performance at an Olympics in her sport.
Son is scheduled to compete at the 2014 Korea Cup International Gymnastics Competition on Saturday and Sunday at Namdong Gymnasium in Incheon, the same venue for rhythmic gymnastics at the Asian Games this fall.
"I am looking forward to competing at the same venue for the Asian Games," she said. "I began preparations for this season early, and it's helped me with my conditioning. I've been able to perform my programs with more energy."

   A whirlwind schedule will see Son take the center stage at a corporate-sponsored rhythmic gymnastics gala show in Seoul on April 26 and 27.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Indian Rowers team leaves for Italy

CHENNAI: The 17th Asian Games, to be held at Incheon in South Korea this year, may still be about six months away, but the Indian rowers are fine-tuning their skills before the premier event. To get some international exposure under their belt, the Indian team leaves for Italy to participate at the Memorial Paolo d'Aloja International Regatta to be held at Piediluco from April 11 to 13.

"The season in Europe is commencing with this event, and this will be our first international tournament of the year," coach Ismail Baig told TOI on Sunday, eve of the team's departure.

The team has prominent names such as Olympian Swarn Singh, Asian Games medalist Bajrang Lal Takhar, and Baig expects a good show from the team. "We are hopeful that this side will come up with a noteworthy performance. Doing well against teams from Europe will give a lot of confidence," Baig said.

Is this more or less the squad that will represent India in the Asian Games? "Most of the rowers in this team will be part of it (the Asiad). However , there is always scope for others to make it too," the Dronacharya Awardee mentioned.

In the 2010 Asian Games at Guangzhou, the rowing team had clinched 5 medals (1 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze) and Baig wants to comes up with an even better show this time. "With the national camp at the Hussainsagar Lake in Hyderabad in full swing, I am confident that we can deliver the goods. The most important thing is not to get ahead of ourselves, and execute our plans as we did so at Guangzhou. Our preparations have been good. Our timings too have got better. Also, in the last few seasons , we have had the opportunity to gauge our opponents, and that will stand us in good stead," Baig said.

The squad: 

Men's single scull: Swarn Singh Men's lightweight single scull: Dushyant Chauhan Men's quadruple scull: Shokender Tomar, Sonu, Vikram, Rakesh Raliya Men's eight: Ranjit Singh, Maninder Singh, Mohammed Azad, Kapil Sharma, Robin, Bajrang Lal Thakar, Manjeet Singh, Sawan Kalkal, Mohammed Ahmed Women's quad: Manjula, Chaoba Devim, Monalisha, Dittymol Varghese; Women's lightweight single scull: Amusana Devi

Lingappa , Indian Coach won immense praise for his exploits as an athlete Turns 90

BANGALORE: Some of the finest athletes produced by Karnataka -including Olympian Kenneth Powell and Asian Games medalist Satish Pillai - returned to their alma mater at the Sree Kanteerava stadium on Saturday evening to celebrate the birthday of their coach N Lingappa who turned 90.

It was an impressive and well attended party hosted by the Indo-German sports club and its coach VR Beedu next to the track where Lingappa trained and produced champions since 1955 - a routine that continues even today.

Besides Powell and Pillai, former champions DY Biredar (marathon), Uday K Prabhu (400m), Jalaja Naresh (800, 1500), PC Ponnappa (400m), Nirmala Ponnappa (100, 200m), KN Sundara Raj Setty (100, 200) and A Naresh (triple jump) too were present to greet their tutor.

"It's our privilege to be here. Most of us have trained under Lingappa sir at this stadium during different periods of time and we are thankful to him for all the help he has done to us," Pillai said.

Lingappa cut the cake even as his pupils sang 'Happy Birthday.'

Remembering the olden days, Lingappa said his love for Bangalore made him stay. "I got an appointment letter to join NIS in the late '50s as a member of the faculty, but I decided against it," he told TOI.

Despite the lack of recognition - Lingappa is yet to receive the coveted Dronacharya award - life hasn't changed much for this great ambassador of athletics.

Lingappa travels almost 30km a day to get to the stadium and train his wards and he does that without charging a rupee. "When they win medals I'm happy," he said.

Vietnam would need around $150 million to hold ASIAD 18.

According to sports expert Nguyen Hong Minh, the former head of the High Performance Sports Department, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has gathered opinions from related bodies on setting up a velodrome track at the National Sports Complex in My Dinh, Hanoi.

Minh said it was risky to let a foreigner invest in this kind of project, because betting could eventually be involved, a sensitive issue in Vietnam.

No more details have been released, but Minh suggested the ministry consider another process to set up a velodrome track to serve Asian Games 18 (ASIAD) and Vietnam bicycle racing in the future.

Minh admitted that velodrome racing was an essential part of ASIAD, but that the investment required was currently too great for Vietnam.

At the most recent answering session to the National Assembly’s Committee of Culture, Education, Youth, Pioneers and Children, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh said Vietnam would need around $150 million to hold ASIAD 18.

However, Deputy Minister of Finance Do Hoang Anh Tuan said it would be very difficult to mobilise enough finance for building a velodrome. The foreign partner interested in building the track, Korean-based KSPO, was highly committed, but required a not-yet-approved tax exemption.

In May 2013 the Government Office assigned the Hanoi People’s Committee to license the Vietnam Sports Platform Company (VSP) to build the project.

The Vietnam National Sports Administration forecasted an investor would need at least $200 million to build a velodrome, and another $300 million would be needed for support facilities such as hotels, shops and food and beverage outlets.

On the VSP website, the company reports it was established to help develop cycling as a sport in Vietnam.
Bicycle racing is a very popular international sport, but has yet to catch on in Vietnam. VSP, with the support of KSPO in Korea, would help introduce the sport through the velodrome project.
Accordingly, the project would include two phases. In the first, a mixed-use indoor cycling velodrome and accompanying shops and facilities would be set up. The second phase would consist of a 5-star hotel and serviced residences and a commercial plaza.Phase 2 would serve as additional lodging for the ASIAD, the website added.

Upon receiving initial approval from the prime minister, VSP formed a joint venture agreement with the National Sports Complex of Vietnam to form a public-private partnership with the goal of constructing the project.

Malaysians Poor Show : Atheletics Incheon

LEE Hup Wei's debut outing this year was nowhere near his best as none of the five national athletes who have finished their events made an impression at the Australian Athletics Championships in Melbourne.
Hup Wei, who last competed at the Malaysian Open last September before suffering an injury, only managed to clear 2.12 metres yesterday before crashing out at 2.16m

It was far from the qualification mark of 2.20m for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Incheon Asian Games.

Nauraj Singh Randhawa, who has already qualified for the two multi-event Games, also failed at 2.16m to place sixth overall, one spot ahead of Hup Wei.

The Malaysian Athletics Federation sent seven athletes Down Under in a bid to have them qualify early for the Commonwealth Games but might as well have kept them home.

Sea Games silver medalist Casier Renee Kelly missed out on making the women's hammer throw final by 25 centimetres on Thursday, the opening day of the four-day meet, after posting 46.61m, more than six metres off her personal best.

Men's hammer thrower Jackie Wong finished eighth after a 54.66m effort on Friday, more than five metres below the national record he set in winning Sea Games bronze last December.

Worse was to follow for pole vaulter Iskandar Alwi, who failed to set a mark after failing to clear his opening height of 4.60m, though luckily for him he had already booked his ticket to Glasgow and Incheon.
Two more athletes will take to the field today when shot putter Adi Alifuddin Hussin and women's high jumper Yap Sean Yee attempt to put on a better show than their national teammates. By Devinder Singh

Read more: ATHLETICS: Malaysians put up poor show - Other - New Straits Times

No unified Korean team at Incheon Asian Games

Unified team nixed due to recent tensions with North, even as Pres. Park pays lip service to increased inter-Korean cooperation
By Choi Hyun-june, staff reporter

The South Korean government announced that it would not permit the formation of a joint South and North Korean team during the 17th Asian Games, which will be held in Incheon in September, and that it would not allow the teams to enter the opening and closing ceremonies together. The government’s decision was motivated by recent incidents, including artillery exchange by North and South Korea around the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the West (Yellow) Sea and small North Korean drones that crashed in South Korean territory. The fact remains that the South Korean government is declining to take part in even the most basic kinds of exchange and cooperation with North Korea just one week after Park made her Dresden address.
During a briefing on progress and plans for exchange and cooperation held on Apr. 4, the Unification Ministry expressed its position that having a unified Korean team, a joint entrance, shared cheering section, and a joint concert during this year’s Asian Games in Incheon would not be appropriate.

“In order to put together a unified Korean team, there are a lot of things we would have to decide, including the unified flag and the unified song,” said Lee Su-young, chief of exchange and cooperation for the Unification Ministry. “After deliberating with ministries concerned, including the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and the Office of the Prime Minister, we reached the conclusion that forming a unified Korean team and making a joint entrance would not be appropriate given the current situation on the Korean peninsula.”

Given that five months still remain before the Asian Games take place, it might have been premature for the South Korean government to make such a decision. “Some in the sports community are already talking about the unified Korean team, and the government made its decision this early because of expectations that it would also become an issue during the June 4 local elections,” said Lee.

However, the government’s announcement of its guidelines may itself reduce the chances for an improvement in relations between North and South Korea. Declining to put together a unified Korean team, which would have been difficult to pull off anyway, is one thing. But emphatically stating so far in advance that there will be no joint entrance or combined cheering sections - activities that have taken place several times in the past - could send the wrong kind of message to North Korea.

“This decision is the exact opposite of what Park said in her speech about increasing exchange and cooperation,” said Kim Chang-soo, director of research at the Korea National Strategy Institute. “Not only that, but in practical terms, the Korean public is not that interested in the Asian Games. It seems very indiscreet for the government to move so quickly to prevent the joint entrance and the creation of a unified team, which would have been necessary if only to ensure the success of the games.”

Nevertheless, the Unification Ministry is still allowing North Korea to take part in the Asian Games, and it has also indicated that it will provide any support that may be necessary for the North Korean team to join the games.

In addition, the Unification Ministry said that it would consider approving the plan to light the torch simultaneously on Halla Mountain and Baekdu Mountain, depending on how North Korea responds. This was the method used to light the torches in Sep. 2002, when the Asian Games were held in Busan. South and North have entered together at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, the Athens Olympics in 2004 and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

Singapore National Olympic Council announced 210 membersINCHEON Asian Games

The Singapore National Olympic Council announced on Friday that 210 athletes from 18 sports have made the first cut to represent Singapore at September's Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

Sailing, bowling, and swimming - the three sports that accounted for Singapore's four golds at the 2010 Guangzhou Games - were included in the list.

Singapore sent 240 athletes from 23 sports for the 2010 edition. More athletes will likely be added to the Incheon squad after the appeals committee convene again on April 24.

Singapore's Commonwealth Games squad also saw an addition of 11 athletes from gymnastics and weightlifting. That makes a total of 82 from seven sports who are headed for Glasgow, Scotland, in July.

- See more at:

Vietnam ponders on decision to host Asian Games

Experts still show financial worries for the up coming Asian Games while officials race to prepare for the event.

When being asked by reporters at a conference about the East Asia Pacific economic update, World Bank's Country Director for Vietnam Victoria Kwakwa said they will not make a commitment to give loans to build the infrastructure for the 18th Asian Games. She said that it's not the World Bank's role and the government will not make loans for such purpose either.

Previously, leader of General Department of Sports and Physical Training said Vietnam now can provide 80% of infrastructure for the games. Leaders of the sport sector also promised that the state fund for the 18th Asian Games will not surpass USD150 million.
However, former director of the high sport achievement department under the Department of Sports and Physical Training Nguyen Hong Minh showed doubts about the announced numbers. He said that the 80% implies Vietnam's current number of stadiums but the stadiums that are qualified for Asian Games are much fewer.

"Vietnam has only 2% of the infrastructure ready," he added, "If we want to use Quan Ngua Stadium for gymnastic competitions then we'll have to build an additional building for sport-specific warm-up. Similarly, the stadium for track and field or karate must have more equipment. Each electronic board to announce the match's results may cost USD6,000-8,000." According to Minh, Vietnam needs to set up a board that can calculate all the expenses and provide the most exact numbers.
In early April, Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Nguyen Van Nen said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung had asked the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to submit reports as a reference to make a decision whether to go ahead with a plan to host the 18th Asian Games. He went on to say that Vietnam has yet to make a deposit for the organization of the Asian Games and two countries had returned their host positions in previous years.
An official from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said they submitted planning and organising reports to the government. "We have done all we can in order to host the 18th Asian Games. The rest depends on the government's and public's decisions."
A leader from General Department of Sports and Physical Training said South Korean partners had committed to help Vietnam with the stadium for track cycling. Vietnam may use hotels and even university dormitories instead of building new venues for accommodations. However, he said that all plans may change.