Southeast Asian Games Judo

The SEA Games are held every two years among the 11 countries that make up Southeast Asia, ranging in size from Indonesia to Brunei and in wealth from Singapore to Cambodia. Combat sports in the games are boxing, wrestling (free style and greco), silat, karate and judo.

This year the games were held in Vietnam, I just spent the weekend in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) supporting the Singapore judo team.

The four largest countries, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, all entered full judo teams. Myanmar (Burma) also entered what seemed to be close to a full team. Singapore, Laos, Cambodia all entered around 5 players in judo, while Malaysia only had 2 heavyweight men after entering a full team in the last SEA Games which it hosted.

Many of the countries had foreign coaches, including Korean for Indonesia, Chinese for Vietnam and, through a special foundation in Japan to promote judo, Japanese for Cambodia and Burma.

Singapore managed a silver and a bronze, with –63 Cheryl Goh losing in the finals to her rival from Thailand in a repeat of the 2001 SEA Games results.

We have a very young team, including 2 high school students, SEA Jr. –100kg champion Wee Pui Seng and –66 Emerson Ang, I know that with more experience they will continue to improve.

Vietnam and Indonesia enjoyed the most success, followed by Thailand, Philippines and Burma. Highlights of the tournament included:

* 60 kg final, Nguyen Linh Son of Vietnam smashing his Filippino rival Aristotle with a huge uchimata in the first 10 seconds of the men's –60kg final

* unbelievable newaza by New New Than –44kg and by all of Burmese women's team, they were dangerous on the mat throughout

* Phanouvong Mayouly –48kg of Lao for shear guts, only 17 years old and a brown belt in an ill-fitting gi, she fought hard

* Hinh My Linh (Vietnam) beating the living hell out of Boonssara Sreetanantn (Thai) in the finals of the womens –45kg by snapping her down to the mat face first and dragging her around the mat for the whole 5 minutes, a beat down seldom seen anywhere much less for the lightest women

* 40 year old Filipino John Baylon winning his 7th straight gold at –81kg, John says he will fight in the 2005 SEA Games because they will be in the Philippenes

* complete dominance by Krisna Bayu of Indonesia in –100kg, winning all his matches by effortless looking ippon throws except one which he won by injury when he broke his Vietnamese opponents leg with a series of brutal foot sweeps

except one which he won by injury when he broke his Vietnamese opponents leg with a series of brutal foot sweeps OUCH!!! Thanks for posting that Koga!

Well, he won the bronze by default as it was a small division and the Vietnamese guy he was to face left in an ambulance with the broken leg.

Cheryl fought well and was mentally better prepared than I have ever seen her - it was a very, very close final.

I am surprised Krisna did not take time off from training in Japan for the Asian Games to go up a weight division and fight you in Surabaya, Chokemasta - if could have answered the question as to whether it was a fluke that he beat you like a school girl in training or if you are tough enough for him to only beat you like a school boy. - Koga!

No need for a game from the bottom as I'm always going to be on top when we start standing :)

I spoke with Chen Wai for a while, nice guy, he goes to Kashiwasaki's Budo University. He entered despite having broken his collar bone only two weeks ago! Of course with only full use of one hand he got tossed hard. Malaysian judo seems even more messed up than here, he says they just can't get either athletes or the organization to commit to an international competition team, which explains the sad 2 player entry in the SEA Games.

Cool...Koga u mentioned coming to HK alot. When is your next trip?