The 1998 Asian Games (Thai: เอเชียนเกมส์ 2541 or เอเชียนเกมส์ 1998), officially known as the 13th Asian Games and the XIII Asiad,[citation needed] was an Asian multi-sport event celebrated in Bangkok, Thailand from December 6 to 20, 1998, with 377 events in 36 sports and disciplines participated by 6,554 athletes across the continent. The sporting events commenced on 30 November 1998, a week earlier than the opening ceremony.

XIII Asian Games
Host cityBangkok, Thailand
MottoFriendship Beyond Frontiers
(Thai: มิตรภาพไร้พรมแดน)
Mitrp̣hāph rị̂ phrmdæn
(4,454 men, 2,100 women)
Events377 in 36 sports
Opening6 December 1998
Closing20 December 1998
Opened byBhumibol Adulyadej
King of Thailand
Closed byVajiralongkorn
Crown Prince of Thailand
Athlete's OathPreeda Chulamonthol
Judge's OathSongsak Charoenpong
Torch lighterSomluck Kamsing
Main venueRajamangala National Stadium
Website1998 Asian Games (archived)

Bangkok was awarded the right on September 26, 1990, defeating Taipei, Taiwan and Jakarta, Indonesia to host the Games. It was the first city to hosted the Asian Games for four times,but was the first time that the city make a bid to host. The last three editions it hosted were in 1966, 1970 and 1978 (in the latter two cases stepping in to prevent the Games from being cancelled due to problems with the elected hosts). The event was opened by Bhumibol Adulyadej, the king of Thailand, at the Rajamangala Stadium.[1]

The final medal tally was led by China, followed by South Korea, Japan and the host Thailand. Thailand set a new record with 24 gold medals. Japanese Athletics Koji Ito was announced as the most valuable player (MVP) of the Games. For Thailand, it was considered one of its remarkable achievement in sports development throughout the country's modern history.

Bidding process


Three cities placed a bid for the Games. All three, Taipei (Chinese Taipei), Jakarta (Indonesia) and Bangkok (Thailand) submitted their formal bid in 1989. It was the first time that Thailand has presented a bid for host the Asian Games, as Bangkok was the default host of previous three games.

The vote was held on September 27, 1990, at the China Palace Tower Hotel in Beijing, China, during the 9th Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly held during the 1990 Asian Games. All 37 members voted, with voting held in secret ballot. It was announced that Bangkok won an Asian Games bid process for the first time. Though the vote results were not released, was leaked to the press that Bangkok won by 20–10–7.

Bangkok became the first city to have staged the Asian Games for four editions, following 1966, 1970 and 1978, and this was the first time that the city have put a bid for the event.[2][3]

19 votes were needed for selection.

1998 Asian Games bidding result
City Country Votes
Bangkok   Thailand 20
Taipei   Chinese Taipei 10
Jakarta   Indonesia 7

Development and preparation




According to United Press International news report, preparations for the games including the construction and renovation of three main stadiums and an athletes' village, cost an estimated 6 billion Thai baht (US$167 million).




Cauldron for the Games at Rajamangala Stadium.
Bang Kapi district
  • Rajmangala Stadium (Opening & Closing ceremonies, Football)
  • Indoor Stadium (Sepak Takraw)
  • Velodrome (Cycling track)
  • Shooting Range (Shooting)
  • Clay Target Shooting Range (Clay Target Shooting)
Muang Thong Thani
  • IMPACT Arena:
  • Hall 1-5 (Boxing, Billiards & Snooker, Gymnastics, Volleyball)
  • Thunder Dome (Weightlifting)
  • SCG Stadium (Rugby, Football)
  • Tennis Centre (Tennis,Soft Tennis)
Thammasat University (Rangsit Campus)
  • Main Stadium (Athletics and Football)
  • Gymnasium 1 (Basketball, Judo, Wrestling)
  • Gymnasium 2 (Badminton)
  • Gymnasium 3 (Handball)
  • Gymnasium 4 (Fencing)
  • Gymnasium 5 (Table Tennis)
  • Gymnasium 6 (Wushu)
  • Gymnasium 7 (Karate, Taekwondo)
  • Tennis Court (Soft Tennis)
  • Field 1 (Archery)
  • Field 2 (Softball)
  • Aquatic Center (Aquatics)
  • Athletes Village
Other venues
Bangkok and Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Chiang Mai
  • Ambassador Sport Center (Squash)
  • Ao-Dongtarn Jomtien Beach (Sailing)
  • Jomtien Beach (Beach Volleyball)
  • Map Prachan Reservoir (Canoeing, Rowing)
Nakhon Nayok
Nakhon Ratchasima
Nakhon Sawan
Pathum Thani
  • Alpine Golf and Sports Club (Golf)
  • Queen Sirikit Sport Complex (Baseball, Hockey preliminaries)
  • Fort Adhisorn Riding Club (Equestrian)
  • Sisaket Province Central Stadium (Football)
Suphan Buri
  • Municipal Gymnasium (Basketball)
  • Suphan Buri Province Central Stadium (Football)
Surat Thani
  • Surat Thani Province Central Stadium (Football)





The official emblem of the games combines elements from Thai stupas and pagodas, the letter "A", which means either "Asia" or "Athletes", and the logo of the Olympic Council of Asia. It symbolises the knowledge, intelligence and athletic prowess of Thailand.[6]


"Chai-Yo", the mascot of the games

The official mascot of the games is an elephant named Chai-Yo (ไชโย), the equivalent of "hurrah" in Thai. Elephants are known and admired among Thais for their strength and nobility.[7][8]

The Games


Opening ceremony


The opening ceremony started at 17:00 local time on December 6, 1998. It was attended by King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, President of the International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch and President of the OCA Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah. The nations entered in alphabetic order of their country names in Thai during the parade of nations.

Participating nations


National Olympic Committees (NOCs) are named according to their official IOC designations and arranged according to their official IOC country codes in 1998.

Participating National Olympic Committees

  Saudi Arabia boycotted using the argument that the event was being held during Ramadan, but latter was discovered that the real motive of the action the tense diplomatic relations between Thailand who were deteriorated by the Blue Diamond Affair.[9] However, a Saudi representative still paraded in the Opening Ceremony.[10]

Number of athletes by National Olympic Committees (by highest to lowest)





Medal table


The top ten ranked NOCs at these Games are listed below. The host nation, Thailand, is highlighted.

  *   Host nation (Thailand)

1  China (CHN)1297867274
2  South Korea (KOR)654653164
3  Japan (JPN)526168181
4  Thailand (THA)*24264090
5  Kazakhstan (KAZ)24243078
6  Chinese Taipei (TPE)19174177
7  Iran (IRI)10111334
8  North Korea (PRK)7141233
9  India (IND)7111735
10  Uzbekistan (UZB)6221240
Totals (33 entries)3783804671225

See also



  1. ^ Thailand's King Lights Asian Games Flames Archived 30 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Bangkok to host 1998 Asian games". United Press International. 27 September 1990.
  3. ^ "What an Imperfect Time To Rethink Games Funding".
  4. ^ "Sadec Asiad 1998 venues". Archived from the original on 2014-12-20. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  5. ^ "Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej ('BOOM-ee-pon Ah-doon-ya-det') formally opened the..." 6 December 1998.
  6. ^ "Emblem (Official website)". Archived from the original on 1998-01-15. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  7. ^ "13th Asian Games Bangkok 1998 - Chai-Yo". GAGOC. (official website of 2010 Asian Games). April 27, 2008. Archived from the original on October 28, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  8. ^ "Mascot (official website)". Archived from the original on 1998-01-15. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  9. ^ "World: Asia-Pacific – Saudis pull out of Asian Games". BBC. 26 November 1998.
  10. ^ "part 8 Opening Ceremony Asian Game 1998(bangkok)". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21.
Preceded by Asian Games

XIII Asian Games (1998)
Succeeded by