Japan Mixed team wins Asian-Thai Cheerleading Championships
Just two months ahead of the 5th Cheerleading World Cup at Bremen the Asian-Thai Cheerleading Championships 2009 at Bangkok, Thailand, provided an opportunity for Asia's World Cup hopefuls to evaluate their state of preparation in a direct match-up. For both Japan and Chinese Taipei the Bangkok event played an important role in the training schedule of their Mixed teams leading to the world championships. And a prestigious battle it is everytime when these two meet: Again both showed cheerleading on an extremely high level, with the three-time world champions from Japan having the better end this time. But Chinese Taipei's performance just fell short slightly, so a switch in the rankings at Bremen could well be possible - like 2005, when Chinese Taipei won the gold medal at the world championships.
And maybe the top two spots will even not go to Japan and Chinese Taipei this year. While those two, dominating the world championships in the past, focused on each other and were in the spotlight at Bangkok, a closer look at the competition revealed a lot of talent to be found in other teams. Teams from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and of course from the host nation of Thailand had their moments. In recent years cheerleading in their countries has been developing steadily, with the help of IFC instructors and a Japan-led initiative to spread cheerleading expertise throughout Asia. Now some of these teams seem ready to challenge the top teams, perhaps just in time for the Bremen world championships, where the race for the medals should be closer than ever before.
The development of cheerleading in these countries does not go unnoticed: Thailand's Channel 9 provided a live TV broadcast of the final stages of the Asian-Thai Cheerleading Championships. And not only were they able to show a close and dramatic competition, the cameras also captured the great atmosphere at the competition venue, the stands crowded with enthusiastic spectators excited by the performances of the cheerleaders.
The chairman of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand attended the event, and prior to the competition IFC president Setsuo Nakamura had the chance to meet with him and a number of government officials. The talks were aimed at further promoting cheerleading within Thailand. The warm welcome Thai authorities offered to the IFC and AFC president and its staff showed a deep interest into the sports of cheerleading. And the impact of the exciting event that IFC, AFC and Thailand's TFC were able to showcase, should help cheerleading at Thailand to excel in the near future.