OCA Regional Forum Brings Together Asian NOCs to Discuss Upcoming Events and Opportunities

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and Olympic Solidarity (OS) recently hosted two successful regional forums, bringing together National Olympic Committees (NOCs) from East, Southeast, and West Asia to discuss the latest developments in the lead-up to the 2024 Paris Olympics and beyond.

The first leg of the OS/OCA Regional Forum was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on June 1-2, followed by the second leg in Bahrain from June 5-6. These forums provided a valuable platform for knowledge sharing and regional cooperation among the NOCs.

In Kuala Lumpur, Olivier Niamkey, Associate Director of Olympic Solidarity, updated the East and Southeast Asian NOCs on key initiatives, including the upcoming Olympic Qualifier Series events in Shanghai and Budapest. He also provided a sneak peek at the Olympic Village and satellite venues for sports like shooting and sailing.

Edward Kensington, the OS Continental Manager for Asia, explained the various subsidy programs available for NOCs before, during, and after the Olympic Games. Meanwhile, Jamyang Namgyal, the Athletes Department Manager, covered competition manipulation prevention and the OCA Athletes Committee's activities, announcing an online meeting on June 10 to elect a Chair and Vice Chair.

The second leg of the forum in Bahrain brought together representatives from 26 NOCs across the region. Faris Mustafa Al Kooheji, the Secretary General of the Bahrain Olympic Committee, welcomed the delegates and expressed his hope that the Bahrain forum would meet the same high standards as the successful event in Kuala Lumpur. They discussed the upcoming 2025 Winter Games in Harbin, China, and received progress reports on the 6th Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games.

During the Bahrain forum, the Deputy Director General of OCA, Mr. Vinod Tiwari, expressed gratitude to the Bahrain Olympic Committee for their exceptional hospitality and thanked the OS and the committees of Harbin and the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games for their comprehensive reports.

OCA Director General, Dr. Husain Al Musallam, shared his excitement about the upcoming OCA events, including the 6th Indoor Martial Arts Games in Bangkok starting in November and the 9th Asian Winter Games in February 2025. He highlighted how Asia's diversity shines through sport, uniting cultures and fostering health and friendship.

The OS/OCA Regional Forums continue to be a valuable platform for NOCs in Asia, providing opportunities for networking, knowledge sharing, and preparing for upcoming major sporting events. The strong engagement and enthusiasm of the participating NOCs underscores the region's commitment to the Olympic movement and the development of sports across Asia.

Artistic Swimming World Cup Concludes with Japanese, Spanish, and Ukrainian Triumphs


The final day of the Artistic Swimming World Cup in Markham, Canada, saw impressive performances from teams representing Japan, Spain, and Ukraine.

In the highly anticipated Duet Free final, Japan's Tomoka Sato and Moe Higa secured the gold medal with a combined score of 253.7730. This marked a significant improvement over Higa's previous duet pairing with Mashiro Tasunaga, who finished second and fourth in the respective events at the Paris World Cup last month. Selectors had revised the line-up, bringing in Sato, the previous duet reserve, to help bolster the team's performance in more challenging routines.

"We started as a pair two weeks ago so it's very new, but we've made a good start and we're very happy," Moe Higa said.

Joining the Japanese duet on the podium were Canada's Jacqueline Simoneau and Audrey Lamothe (246.5501), with Maryna and Vladyslava Aleksiiva of Ukraine (242.1772) taking bronze. The Aleksiiva sisters' medal-winning performance should ensure their nomination to represent Ukraine at the Paris 2024 Olympics, especially considering their rivals Daria Moshynska and Anastasiia Shmonina finished 31.825 points lower.

Simoneau, the most decorated athlete of the competition with six medals (five silver), delighted the home crowd with her impressive displays across solo, duet, and team events. "I think we've had far from perfect swims this weekend and I can almost guarantee you're going to see a completely different (Duet Free) routine in Paris," she said.

In the Mixed Duet events, Spain's Dennis Gonzalez Boneu and Emma Garcia showcased their skill, winning the Mixed Duet Free title with a combined score of 200.3854. Gonzalez Boneu, who had not competed since the Doha 2024 World Championships due to a knee injury, made a triumphant return.

"We tried to do all the difficulty in this routine because it's a very hard routine, so we swam with our heart and also our head," said Gonzalez Boneu.

The competition also featured impressive performances in the Acrobatic events, where Ukraine's youthful squad, led by double world champion Anhelina Ovchynnikova, secured victory with a combined total of 244.4834.

"We were so happy because we did a lot of work; our coach said we had to put on a show, and I think we did," said Yelyzaveta Lymar.

With the World Cup concluded, many of the European athletes will now head to the continental championships in Belgrade, Serbia, later this month, before the top-ranked artistic swimmers reconvene for the Super Final in Budapest, Hungary, from July 5-7. The artistic swimming competition at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games is scheduled to take place from August 5-11.

Photo credit: Antoine Saito/Artistic Swimming Canada/World Aquatics

Southeast Asia's Bodybuilding Elite Shine at Thrilling 18th SEABPF Championships in Vientiane

The 18th South East Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship (SEABPF) held in Vientiane, Lao PDR from May 16-20, 2024 featured an impressive display of muscular physiques as the region's top athletes competed for glory.

Hosted by the ASEAN Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation (ABBF), the prestigious five-day event saw competitors from across Southeast Asia showcase their hard-earned talents in a wide range of weight classes and categories.

In the medal table, Vietnam emerged as the dominant force, earning a total of 8 gold medals. Lao PDR, Thailand and Myanmar followed with 3 golds each. Malaysia secured 1 gold medal.

Gold medalists included:

Lao's Phoumee Savantdysay in Men's Bodybuilding 55kg
Vietnam's Le Hong Phong in Men's Bodybuilding 60kg
Malaysia's Joseph Anak Ladi in Men's Bodybuilding 65kg
Lao's Khamling Chalern in Men's Bodybuilding 70kg
Vietnam's Nguyen Trong Khanh in Men's Bodybuilding 75kg
Thailand's Thanakrit Prachantasen in Men's Bodybuilding over 75kg
Vietnam's Nguyen Van Quang in Men's Master Bodybuilding 50-60 yrs Open Category
Vietnam's Ta Phuc Nhat Tan in Men's Fitness Physique Open Category and Men's Athletic Physique up to 167 cm
Myanmar's Thare War in Women's Athletic Physique Open Category
Vietnam's Chau Nguyen Kha in Men's Athletic Physique up to 160 cm
Myanmar's Ko Ko Kyaw Phyo in Men's Athletic Physique up to 175 cm
Vietnam's Le Vinh Kha in Men's Athletic Physique over 175 cm
Lao's Keota Phaphilomlasak in Men's Sports Physique up to 165 cm
Myanmar's Than Htike Oo in Men's Sports Physique up to 170 cm
Lao's Chintana Khambounheung in Women's Model Physique up to 165cm
Thailand's Kittisak Buradam in Men's Sports Physique up to 175 cm
Thailand's Rachasap Jaroensap in Men's Sports Physique over 175 cm
Thailand's Yuphaphon Suepsuan in Women's Model Physique up to 155 cm
Thailand's Chiranan Suran in Women's Model Physique up to 160 cm
Lao's Chintana Khambounheung in Women's Model Physique up to 165 cm and Women's Ladies Model Physique over 35 yrs
Vietnam's Ha Thi Thanh Trang in Women's Model Physique over 165cm
Lao's Chintana Khambounheung in Women's Model Physique up to 165 cm
Vietnam's Chau Nguyen Kha and Tran Thi Thanh Tam in Mixed Pairs

The 18th SEABPF Championships was hailed as a tremendous success, cementing Southeast Asia's status as a global powerhouse in the sport of bodybuilding. Fans are already eagerly awaiting the 19th edition.


GAWSF Partner IWF Sees Another Successful Year in the Fight Against Doping

GAWSF is pleased to report that its partner, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), had another productive year in 2023 in its ongoing efforts to combat doping in the sport.

According to the 2023 report from the IWF and the International Testing Agency (ITA), a total of 3,192 samples were collected globally last year, including 1,766 in-competition and 1,426 out-of-competition. Of these, 2,522 completed tests were performed on 1,039 athletes (52% men, 48% women) from 109 countries.

The comprehensive testing program resulted in 18 Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs), a testament to the IWF and ITA's diligence and commitment to maintaining the integrity of the sport. Additionally, the IWF received 25 Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) application requests in 2023.

In the realm of anti-doping education, the IWF and ITA held webinars and seminars that were attended by a total of 1,211 participants from 64 different nationalities. These educational initiatives are a crucial part of the IWF's four-year strategy to promote clean sport and foster a culture of integrity among athletes and support personnel.

"We are extremely proud of the IWF's continued success in the fight against doping," said GAWSF EC Chairman Dr Che Kuong Hon. "As a GAWSF partner, the IWF's unwavering dedication to protecting the health and rights of athletes, as well as the fairness of competition, is a shining example for all of our member federations."

The GAWSF commends the IWF and the ITA for their tireless efforts in 2023 and looks forward to their continued collaboration in the years to come.

Ecuador Crowned 2024 IFA7™ COPA AMERICA – Raising Stars Champions

The 2024 IFA7™ COPA AMERICA – Raising Stars, one of the most prestigious single-event sporting competitions in the Americas for seven-a-side football, was held in Lima, Peru on May 7th, 2024. The tournament featured under-18 national teams from 8 countries across North and South America.

The 8 nations that competed in the 2024 IFA7™ COPA AMERICA – Raising Stars were Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela. The matches were played at the Adolfo Magallanes Sports Complex in Lima and were broadcast live by NativaTv.

After an exciting tournament filled with end-to-end action and plenty of goals, it was Ecuador who emerged victorious. Ecuador's talented young squad defeated Colombia in the final to be crowned the 2024 IFA7™ COPA AMERICA – Raising Stars champions.

This triumph is a significant achievement for Ecuador, as they have cemented their status as a rising power in youth football in the Americas. The country's investments in grassroots and youth development programs have clearly paid dividends, with this title adding to Ecuador's growing reputation.

Looking ahead, the IFA7 calendar features several high-profile international tournaments in 2024, including the World Clubs Championship in Ecuador in July, the International Challenge in Colombia in August, the South Americas Cup in Peru in September, and the Nations Cup in Spain in November. Ecuador will be aiming to carry their COPA AMERICA – Raising Stars momentum into these upcoming competitions.

The 2024 IFA7™ COPA AMERICA – Raising Stars was a thrilling showcase of the next generation of football talent in the Americas. Ecuador's championship victory has solidified their position as one of the continent's premier youth football powerhouses.