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VIENTIANE - The closing ceremony of the 16th ASEAN University Games (AUG) held in Laos on Thursday marked the end of the international sporting competition.
Teams of university students from 10 different ASEAN member nations, including Laos, have been competing in Laos' capital of Vientiane over the last nine days to win glory for their home country. It is the first time Laos has hosted the event.
Participating nations included Brunei Darussalam Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippians, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. Timor Leste, who are presently in the process of applying for ASEAN membership, also took part.
During the event Laos scored 32 gold medals, substantially higher than their original goal of 10. Overall Malaysia scored the most gold medals with 60, followed by Vietnam with 56, Thailand with 45, and Indonesia with 41.
The AUG contained a wide variety of sports, including archery, athletics, badminton, basketball football, various martial arts, swimming, table tennis, tennis, and volleyball.
ASEAN nations expressed their appreciation and congratulations at the success of Laos' hosting of the event. "Every day, we've received compliments from the heads of visiting athlete delegations. They told us they enjoyed staying here and eating the food we provided, and they also enjoyed the general atmosphere of the games," said Vice-President of Games Organising Committee Soukkongseng Saignaleuth.
The opening and closing ceremonies together cost Laos $900,000. During the closing ceremony the audience was treated to three programs of song and dance from local students. Once the Lao portion of the ceremony was completed, Indonesia performers took too the arena. This is because the 17th AUG will be held in Indonesia.
The AUG has been running since 1981 and is held bi-annually in an ASEAN member nation.