The curtain finally rose on the 4th Asian Beach Games on the evening of November 14 at the Saphan Hin Sports Center in Phuket, with Privy Councillor and the Royal Representative, Gen Surayuth Julanon presiding. Also attending the ceremony were HRH Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, president of the Olympic Council of Asia, Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Phuket Governor Nisit Chansomwong, and other key people from the world of sport, the IOC, National Olympic Committees, Sport Government Representatives and many more.
The fantastic performances in the Opening Ceremony featured the first show “Miracle of the Merry Land”, followed by “Miracle Pearl of the Andaman Sea” and “Miracle of the Unity Sand.
The Opening continued with the march-past ceremony of the athletes from 43 participating countries and the procession of the OCA and the Asian Beach Games Flags. Thai-Czech powered paraglider Jiri George Macak, who captured three gold medals at the 3rd Asian Beach Games in Haiyang, China two years ago, was the flag-bearer to lead the Thai athletes to the stadium.
The ceremony went on with the fourth performance “Miracle of the Charming Sunshine”, followed by the run of defending beach volleyball champions Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee, carrying the Games Flame.
The women’s duo then passed the Games torch to extreme sports BMX rider Chokchai Wanitsakul. He used an RC model aircraft to carry the Games Flame to be lit at the cauldron with the height of eight metres from the sea level, located near the shore, marking the official start of the 4th Asian Beach Games. HRH Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah made a passionate speech followed by Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul Tourism and Sports Minister of Thailand.
Muaythai is one of the proud particupating sports and was represented at the opening by the President of IFMA, Dr Sakchye Tapsuwan, who stated that he is looking forward for an exciting week ahead when all the Asian Muaythai powerhouses will compete for honour and glory in Phuket.
The Opening Ceremony ended with the “Miracle of the 4th Asian Beach Games” performance before a spectacular, colourful fireworks display illuminated the night sky.