The Lao PDR finished 8th out of eleven countries participating in the just-ended 24th SEA Games in Nakon Ratchasima, Thailand, with a total of 44 medals - 5 gold, 7 silver, and 32 bronze.
As expected, host-country Thailand took the most medals with 183 gold, 123 silver, and 103 bronze. Malaysia came out second, followed by Vietnam. At the end of the list was East Timor with no medal. Lao athletes won mostly in self-defense sports, such as judo, muay Lao or Lao boxing, and also in petanque.
At the closing ceremony, the SEA Games flag was transferred to the head of the delegation from the Lao PDR who will host the next games in December 2009. Lao authorities confirm that they are ready to sponsor the 25th SEA Games in the capital city of Vientiane, but plans to slash the number of competition events from 43 to 25, eliminating sports such as sailing, gymnastics and weight lifting.
Laos will host the games with a budget of $80 million, with the help of China who is building a new studium to be used as the main venue on a 182-hectare lot in the Vientiane suburb of Saythani district. The stadium will be the biggest in the country and will be able to accommodate over 20,000 spectators.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details in Laos.