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The 25th SEA Games concluded on Friday December 18 in Vientiane, Laos, with the host country exceeding its gold medal expectations and ranking 7th among the eleven ASEAN nations competing in the event, while Thailand won the most medals.
The 25th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) or Vientiane Games 2009 came to a spectacular end on the night of December 18th, after Laos' Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh announced its conclusion in the closing ceremony held at the new main stadium located at KM 16 along Route 13 South in the Saythany District of Vientiane capital.
Highlights of the closing ceremony included impressive cultural and artistic performances by young Lao men and women, ending with a hand-holding show of unity and the traditional Lamvong or circle dance, participated by over 8,000 SEA Games athletes and involved individuals.
During the ceremony, the chairman of the Games Organizing Committee, Standing Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad, was awarded the President's Trophy by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in recognition of his chairmanship in organizing the excellent 25th SEA Games and as an incentive to Lao athletes for their performances.
Thailand topped the medal tally, with 86 gold, 83 silver and 97 bronze medals, followed by Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore.
Although ranked 7th of all the 11 ASEAN nations competing in the games, with 33 gold, 25 silver and 52 bronze, Laos exceeded its medal expectations of only 25 gold, and actually won 28 more gold medals than two years ago in the 24th SEA Games in Thailand.
Indonesia, which came in 3rd in medal standings, will host the 26th SEA two years from now.
Songrit Pongern reported from Bangkok on December 21, 2009. Listen to Songrit's report for more details in Lao. (English translation by Buasawan Simmala and Dara Baccam)