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China to donate sporting equipment to Laos

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VIENTIANE, May 18 (Xinhua) -- China will present sporting equipment worth 123 million kip (about 15,300 U.S. dollars) to the Lao National Sports Committee, local media reported Wednesday.

The professional standard equipment is in the process of being sent to Laos by the Sports Administration of China and will be installed at the National Sports Training Centre in the Lao capital of Vientiane, the state-run Vientiane Times quoted Soulasith Oupravanh, Director General of the International Relations Department of the sports committee, as saying.

The training center was built in 2009 as part of sports infrastructure development ahead of the 25th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games held in Vientiane in November of that year.

The center comprises indoor and outdoor stadiums, a sports field and accommodation for athletes and trainers. The new equipment from China will be used by martial arts teams and various other athletes.

A Chinese coach is presently training the Lao wushu team at the center in the lead up to the 26th SEA Games, which will be held in Indonesia in November. The Lao boxing team is also training at the center for November's games.

Soulasith said his department had allocated budget to support the Chinese trainer during his stay in Laos.

The Lao sports committee believes the equipment provided by China will improve the overall fitness of Lao athletes.

By the end of this month, other martial arts teams including pencak silat, campo, vovinam, and taekwondo will join the wushu and boxing teams in training at the center, where they will stay until they travel to Indonesia for the next SEA Games.

Lao athletes won more than 30 gold medals in 25 events at the 2009 SEA Games in Vientiane.

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