XIII Asian Games
1998 Asian Games logo.svg
Host cityBangkok, Thailand
MottoFriendship Beyond Frontiers
(Thai: มิตรภาพไร้พรมแดน)
Mitrp̣hāph rị̂ phrmdæn
Nations participating41
Athletes participating6,554
(4,454 men, 2,100 women)
Events377 in 36 sports
Opening ceremony6 December
Closing ceremony20 December
Officially opened byBhumibol Adulyadej
King of Thailand
Officially closed byAhmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah
President of the Olympic Council of Asia
Athlete's OathPreeda Chulamonthol
Judge's OathSongsak Charoenpong
Torch lighterSomluck Kamsing
Main venueRajamangala National Stadium
Website1998 Asian Games

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 football event commenced on 30 November 1998, a week earlier than the opening ceremony.

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, the last three editions it hosted were in 1966, 1970 and 1978. 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. In addition, 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 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 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).



Hua Mark
Muang Thong Thani
Thammasat University (Rangsit Centre)
Other venues
Bangkok and Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Chiang Mai
Nakhon Nayok
Nakhon Ratchasima
Nakhon Sawan
Pathum Thani
Suphan Buri
Surat Thani



Chai Yo, the elephant, the mascot of the games
Chai Yo, the elephant, the mascot of the games

The Official Emblem of the 13th Asian Games elements from Asia in general and Thailand in particular. It is based on the letter A, representing Asia and Athletes. The Maha Chedi, or pagoda shape, represents Thailand, in particular. The pinnacle of the Maha Chedi symbolises the knowledge, intelligence and athletic prowess of Thailand's forefathers, which are second to none. The top is part of the OCA logo.[6]


The official Mascot of the 13th Asian Games is an elephant named Chai-Yo (Thai: ไชโย) (a Thai word meaning pleasure, gladness, success, unity and happiness) whose name is a phrase shouted by a group of people to show their unity and solidarity. In Thailand, the elephant is a very distinctive animal which has lived with its people for many generations and is universally admired for its strengths 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 was not attending due to the fact that the tournament period overlaps with Ramadan and that there is a big national event in the country, but it was pointed out that it was because diplomatic relations between Thailand were deteriorated by the Blue Diamond Affair.[9] However paraded in the Opening Ceremony.[10]



Medal table

Main article: 1998 Asian Games 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 nations)3783804671225

See also


  1. ^ Thailand's King Lights Asian Games Flames
  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..." upi.com. 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. gz2010.cn (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 byHiroshima Asian GamesBangkok XIII Asian Games (1998) Succeeded byBusan