21Jun12 Spectacular Opening Ceremony At Asian Beach Games

Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Asian Beach games

A spectacular opening ceremony, in a purpose built 18,000 seater stadium, with the most amazing stage that accomplished all sorts of contortions, kicked off the start of the 3rd Asian Beach Games in Haiyang, Shandong Province, China on Saturday 16th June 2012. The audience was addressed by Sheik Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah President, Olympic Council of Asia (OCA)and opened by Mr Ma Kai, Secretary General of the State Council of China.

Some 1,601 athletes from 45 countries have converged on Haiyang to participate in one of the 13 sports disciplines on offer which include just three water sports events dragon boating ,windsurfing and waterskiing .

Ten sports are already underway with waterskiing /wakeboarding starting with familiarisation on the afternoon of Tuesday 19th of June once the dragon boat racing finishes. All of the international technical officials have now arrived along with the majority of the 56 Asian skiers and riders. A welcoming banquet on Sunday evening 17th June, hosted by the OCA, provided an opportunity for VIP?s and invited guests to make new friends in sport and renew old acquaintances.

Kuno Ritschard with Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah
Kuno Ritschard with Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah

Women?s wakeboard preliminaries went according to seedings with the top two in each of the four heats advancing to the semi-finals. Scores of the winners of each heat - Miko Asai, (JPN) Duan Zhenkun (KOR), Chen Lili (CHN) and Sasha Christian(SIN) - were all fairly similar making the semi-finals something to really look forward to.

First off the dock in the men?s prelims Ronnie Cheung (HKG) set the standard with 5th seeded Zhang Wei (CHN) missing out on direct qualification to the semis to Nur Priambodo (INA). Two of the three Thai riders, Bunyalo Jumruang and Tatsanai Kuakoonrat found themselves in the same heat but both qualified for the semis. Ji Hoon (KOR) topped the leader board in Heat 3 while Hong Kong?s Wan Ka Choi missed out on direct qualification into the semis by the narrowest of margins of just 0.12 to Lin Xiaojun (CHN). Padiwat Jaemjan (THA) and Julien Breistroff (HKG) both qualified for the semis along with the two Koreans Kim Byoungrang and Jung Insang in the final heat.