Chao Phya River torch relay dropped
[ASIAN GAMES] Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana and 30 other national athletes will take part in the 15th Asian Games torch relay which is due to arrive in Thailand next weekend.
The princess, who will represent the Kingdom in the badminton women's team event in December's Asiad, will ignite the flame in the cauldron at the Supachalasai National Stadium on Sunday after the torch is carried in a procession around the city.
The torch first started its journey on October 8 in Doha and so far has visited India, South Korea, Philippines, Japan, China, Macao, Hong Kong and Indonesia before coming to Thailand on Saturday.
Bangkok Governor Apirak Kosayodhin is to receive the flame from the delegates of the Doha Asian Games Organising Commitee (Dagoc) at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Saturday. It will be transported to the stadium in a parade which will feature Thai bands.
The Olympic Committee of Thailand (OCT) president Yutthasak Sasiprapha will preside over the torch relay ceremony which will be televised by Channel 11 at 2pm on Sunday. Former Asian Games gold medallist and sprinter Suchart Jaesuraparp will be the
first of the 30 athletes to carry the torch.
However, OCT decided to cancel the relay on the Chao Phya River, originally requested by Dagoc, because of the rise in water levels and possible danger to the athletes.
The torch is expected to return to the stadium at 4pm with 2004 Olympics bronze medallist Yaowapa Burapolchai being the last bearer. The taekwondo exponent will pass on the flame to the Princess.
After the cauldron is lit, there will be a series of activities including a soccer match and performances such as Taste of Doha , Thai Drum Dancing and Thai Traditional Dancing. The torch relay across Asia is taking 55 days in 15 countries and will end in Qatar on November 25. After Thailand, the flame will make stops in Iran, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.
Meanwhile, 560 athletes and officials will travel from Bangkok to Doha by Qatar Airways, which is the sole carrier of the Thai Olympic Committee and Thai athletes for the 15th Asian Games in Doha. Thailand are expecting to win 12 gold medals in the Games. The medal hopes are in boxing, weightlifting, taekwando, athletics and sepak takraw.