AGU Office, BANGKOK (THA) May 17, 2017: Thailand rolled out the welcome with colorful opening ceremonies ushering in the 7th Asian Senior and 14th Asian Junior Artistic Gymnastics Championships at the Nimibtur Gymnasium here on Tuesday.
The country’s leading sports officials graced the inaugural rites in greeting close to 500 athletes and officials from 22 countries taking part in both competitions sanctioned and organized by the Asian Gymnastics Union.
Participating nations had one delegate each during the opening ceremonies, accompanied by a chaperone garbed in the traditional “chut thai,” or native costume, carrying a sign from where they came from.  
“It is with great pride and pleasure that we welcome all the gymnasts and officials participating in this great event,” Pongpanu Swetharun, Permament Secretary of Ministry of Tourism and Sport, said in his opening address.
He cited the Gymnastics Association of Thailand in its effort of developing the dynamic and attractive Olympic sport in the country by “securing the honor of being the host of these prestigious tournaments. I wish both competitions great success,” and formally declaring the championships open.
For his part, Lt. Cmdr. Srayuth Pratanasak RTN, GAT President, expressed his appreciation in securing both government and private support in hosting both the Asian Seniors and Asian Juniors tournaments.
Pratanasak outlined the GAT’s aims in conducting both events: encourage more Thais to take part in gymnastics, raise the standards of local judges, showcase the country’s ability to stage big international sports events and boost the Thailand’s income through sports tourism.
He also thanked the tireless efforts of the GAT staff and personnel in making the event successful.
Also present during the occasion was AGU Secretary General Mohammad Saeed of Qatar and Chatichai Payuhanaveechai, President and Chief Executive Officer of Government Savings Bank, a major sponsor of the event.
To literally light up the festivities, Swetharun and Pratanasak both touched a huge transparent globe, triggering a kaleidoscope of sounds and colors that filled the arena, and paved the way for an impressive tableau to cap the program.
Wowing the crowd, the presentation featured  young boys and girls  wearing bright sequined tights and skirts doing calisthenics, followed by teeners doing ethnic dances in dynamic “gymnastics” fashion and a mock battle in muay thai, or kick boxing, Thailand’s popular and ethnic combat sport.
 
OPENING ADDRESS:  Pongpanu Swetharun, Permament Secretary of Ministry of Tourism and Sport, delivers the opening address at the start of the 7th Asian Seniors and 14th Asian Juniors Artistic Gymnastics Championships at the Nimibtur Gymnasium in Bangkok, Thailand.
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WELCOME REMARKS: Lt. Cmdr. Srayuth Pratanasak RTN, Gymnastics Association of Thailand President, welcomes the participants at the start of the 7th Asian Seniors and 14th Asian Juniors Artistic Gymnastics Championships at the Nimibtur Gymnasium in Bangkok, Thailand.
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APPRECIATION AWARD: : Lt. Cmdr. Srayuth Pratanasak RTN, Gymnastics Association of Thailand President, (left) presents a plaque o appreciation to Pongpanu Swetharun, Permament Secretary of Ministry of Tourism and Sport, for gracing the opening  rites of the 7th Asian Seniors and 14th Asian Juniors Artistic Gymnastics Championships at the Nimibtur Gymnasium in Bangkok, Thailand.
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MAJOR SPONSOR:   Chatichai Payuhanaveechai, President and Chief Executive Officer of Government Savings Bank, whose company is a major sponsor of the 7th Asian Seniors and 14th Asian Juniors Artistic Gymnastics Championships being held at the Nimibtur Gymnasium in Bangkok, Thailand. (opening cere 6 pix)
PARTICIPANTS:  Participants listen during the opening ceremonies of the 7th Asian Seniors and 14th Asian Juniors Artistic Gymnastics Championships being held at the Nimibtur Gymnasium in Bangkok, Thailand.
OPENING RITES SHOW: Part of the colorful show during the opening ceremonies of the 7th Asian Seniors and 14th Asian Juniors Artistic Gymnastics Championships being held at the Nimibtur Gymnasium in Bangkok, Thailand.
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