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IOC President hails Thailand’s hospitality

CONVENTION: Thailand has the potential to become a sports hub, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said yesterday.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 17 April 2018, 10:22AM

IOC president Thomas Bach demonstrates some of his taekwondo skills during a visit to the Sports Authority of Thailand yesterday. Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya

IOC president Thomas Bach demonstrates some of his taekwondo skills during a visit to the Sports Authority of Thailand yesterday. Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya

The IOC chief also revealed that the Kingdom was the first country to show interest in hosting the fifth Youth Olympic Games in 2026.

Bach arrived in Bangkok yesterday (Apr 16) and had talks with several Thai sporting officials including Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon in his capacity as president of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand, Sports Authority of Thailand governor Sakol Wannapong and IOC member Patama Leeswadtrakul.

Bach is in town to attend the SportAccord 2018, which is being held at the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre and ends on Friday (Apr 20).

Today (Apr 17), the IOC president will meet Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at Government House as Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat officially inaugurates the conference.

Bach yesterday visited the SAT headquarters in Hua Mark, where Thai athletes in several disciplines, including volleyball, taekwondo, futsal and boxing, are training for the 2018 Asian Games.

Bach said he was pleased to see the country’s “adequate” sporting facilities.

The IOC chief gave moral support to some Thai athletes and wished them success in their efforts to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

He said that the SportAccord 2018 was a special occasion for Thailand to showcase its potential.

“It is a good occasion for people in sports from around the world to meet and exchange information on sports,” said Bach.

“Thailand has shown that it is an excellent host and can be an international sports hub.”

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Bach added Thailand was the first country to show interest in organising the 2026 Youth Olympics.

“I have met Thai sports officials and discussed Thailand’s chance of hosting the Youth Olympics,” he said.

Thailand joined the bid to host the inaugural Youth Olympics in 2010 but was unsuccessful as Singapore became the first host nation of the Games.

Meanwhile, SportAccord president Patrick Baumann said bringing the conference to Bangkok represents a significant “step forward”.

“Bringing SportAccord to Bangkok, the vibrant capital of a wonderful country, is another step forward for SportAccord,” said Baumann who is also president of the Global Association of International Sport Federations (GAISF).

“We are delighted to be here, and I would like to thank the representatives of the Thai government and the City of Bangkok who have done so much to make this week possible.

“One thing is for sure: with a host city like Bangkok, with its cuisine and culture, it won’t only be the meetings and seminars which are remembered for a long time to come!”

Some 1,500 sportspersons are taking part in one of the biggest sporting conventions ever held in Thailand.

“Hosting the SportAccord 2018 is a great opportunity for Thailand to showcase our potential when it comes to hosting international sporting events and meetings,” said Weerasak.

Read original story here.



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