PH may just send ‘token’ contingent to Myanmar SEAG

PH may just send ‘token’ contingent to Myanmar SEAG

By:  Frank Calapre (The Manila Times)


Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Salvador Andrada said on Monday that the Philippines might just send a “token” delegation to the forthcoming 27th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in December because of the exclusion of at least five Oympics sports from the event’s calendar by host Myanmar.

Andrada said that the removal of water polo, badminton, gymnastics, lawn tennis and table tennis from the biennial meet slated on December 11 to 22 in the cities of Yangon, Naypydaw and Man-dalay is not in line with the spirit of the games.

Andrada stressed that the SEAG was organized for the purpose of establishing closer ties among the 11 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

“Removing some of these events, which are Olympic sports just because they [Myanmar] have no chance of winning in those disciplines does not jive with the spirit of the competition,” Andrada said.

He explained that protesting against the move of the Myanmar organizing committee would be useless if other member countries will not be united to oppose it.

The 76-year-old Andrada, the oldest among the four commissioners of the PSC, explained that the exclusion of the said disciplines weakened the Filipino’s chances of winning more gold medals in the event.

Myanmar added to the meet disciplines like kempo, tarung derajat, vovinam and chinlone (cane ball), which the Filipino athletes are not familiar with. Andrada believes that because of that, host Myanmar most likely would overtake the Filipinos in the medal standings. The Philippines won the overall SEAG crown for the first time in 2005.