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Southeast Asian Games Open in Thailand


The 24th Southeast Asian Games have opened in Korat, Thailand, with the host country increasing its medal haul in sports that began before the opening ceremony.

Nearly 9,000 performers took part in an elaborate opening ceremony in the main stadium. The ceremony began with a tribute to Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, one day after the monarch celebrated his 80th birthday.

His son, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, presided over the ceremony in which many of the performers and much of the crowd wore yellow -- the monarch's traditional color.

Eleven nations are competing for 475 gold medals in more than 40 sports at the 10-day Games. The host nation is atop the medals table so far in the competition, including a gold medal in women's downhill mountain biking Thursday.

Sattayanun Abdulkare won the women's gold. Thailand also won gold in the men's and women's sepak takraw event, where players try to kick a ball into an elevated net.

Two years ago, the host Philippines topped the medals table with 113 golds to Thailand's 87. Vietnam won 70 medals and Malaysia took 61.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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