The Thai capital of Bangkok had the rare distinction of hosting three Asian Games within the space of 12 years from 1966 to 1978, including two back to back Games.
Sixteen countries sent over 1,945 competitors to the Fifth Asian Games, held from December 9 to 20, 1966. There were a total of 14 disciplines. Chinese Taipei and Israel, having been forced to keep away from the fourth edition of the Games in Indonesia, returned to the Asian Games. South Korea sent the largest contingent of 275 members that competed in all 14 sports.
But it was arch rivals Japan which secured the top slot in the medals table of the 5th Asian Games with a rich haul of 78 gold, 53 silver and 33 bronze medals. South Korea won second place for the first time in Asian Games with 12 gold, 18 silver and 21 bronze medals. Hosts Thailand finished third with 12 gold, 14 silver and 11 bronze medals.
During the 1966 Bangkok Games, South Korea was chosen to host the Sixth Asian Games in 1970. Unfortunately, South Korea was forced to abandon its hosting rights due to domestic reasons. But the Koreans gave financial backing to Thailand to host the Asian Games for the second successive time - the only instance in the 63-year-old Games history.
Hence, the 6th Asian Games was also held in Bangkok from December 9 to 21,1970 with over 2,400 sportsmen and women from 18 countries participating in 13 sports. Tennis and table tennis were not played and yachting was included for the first time. Japan won the top slot once again with 74 gold, 47 silver and 23 bronze medals to win first place.
Champion long distance runner S.L.B. Rosa re-wrote Sri Lanka's sporting history with a golden double, winning both the men's 5,000m and 10,000m gold medals.
South Korea won second place for the second consecutive Games with 18 gold, 13 silver and 23 bronze medals. Korea's Cho Oh Ryon won the 400-meter and 1500-meter freestyle swimming. Korea also won gold medals in men's high-board diving and women's shot put. Thailand followed Korea with 9 gold, 17 silver and 13 bronze medals.
The expulsion of Chinese Taipei and Israel again haunted the Seventh Asian Games. About 10 months before the Seventh Asiad, the Asian Games Federation General Assembly on 16 November 1973, expelled Chinese Taipei and admitted the North Korea. Iran, the host country, despite the opposition of Arabic nations, allowed Israeli to participate in Asian Games.
Communist bloc nations, such as the People's Republic of China, Mongolia and North Korea, took part in Asian Games for the first time. Arch rivals South Korea as well as the North Korea competed in the Games. Arabic nations, North Korea, Pakistan and the People's Republic of China refused to compete in tennis, fencing, basketball and football matches with Israel.
Twenty-five countries sent 3,010 athletes to compete in 16 sports at the seventh edition of Asian Games held from September 1 to 16, 1974. The Teheran Asian Games become one of the most memorable ones for Sri Lanka as W Wimaladasa won the men's 400m gold while its 4 x 400m men's relay team comprising Wimaladasa, Sunil Gunawardena, Kosala Sahabandu and A.Premachandra secured another gold.
The 8th Asian Games was originally scheduled to be held in Islamabad, Pakistan but the hosts withdrew due to domestic reasons, bringing Thailand as the hosts for the third time. Israel was expelled from the Asian Games and Syria was readmitted as a member of the Asian Games. UAE, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Qatar and Saudi Arabia were newly admitted to Asian Games.
A total of 3,842 competitors from 25 countries took part in 19 disciplines that were worked off at the 8th Asian Games worked off from December 9 to 20, 1978. Archery and bowling were new sports and yachting was revived in the Games. Japan once again maintained its supremacy to head the medals standings with 70 gold, 58 silver and 49 bronze medals. China's entry to the international arena was first signalled at the 1978 Asian Games as the contingent from Beijing won the second place with 51 gold, 20 silver and 45 bronze medals. South Korea won third place, winning 18 gold, 20 silver and 31 bronze medals and North Korea placed fourth with 15 gold, 13 silver and 15 bronze medals.