BANGKOK, Dec 15 - A Thai Asian Games gold medallist will run around his
training track naked after his prayers were answered as he awaited the result of
Suwonprateep, who ran the last leg of the men's 4x100 metre relay final on
Tuesday, said he prayed while waiting anxiously for a decision which ruled he
had got to the finish line just ahead of Japan's Shinji Takahira.
Sittichai Suwonprateep of Thailand
performs the wai, a traditional Thai greeting, during the award ceremony
for the men's 4x100m relay race final at the 15th Asian Games in Doha
December 12, 2006. [Reuters]
"I didn't know what to do while waiting for the photo result so I just told
all the spirits and sacred objects I worship that if I won I would run naked,"
Sittichai told Reuters. "I am not sure if this gold medal was the result of my
ability or the power of the spirits I prayed to," said the 26-year-old naval
officer who won a gold in the same relay in the 2002 Asian Games in Busan.
Making promises to amulets, images or spirits is a common practice among
Thais in largely Buddhist Southeast Asian nation.
But Sittichai declined to say when he would actually run naked.
"I won't tell anyone when I will run. I am embarrassed about what I will be