Next SEAG host Vietnam cuts number of events

MANILA, Philippines, July 26 ------ Vietnam reduced the Philippines’ chances of an overall title repeat after the former decided to host the 31st Southeast Asian Games next year with a significantly trimmed calendar. Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino on Thursday said Hanoi announced there would be 450 events from 36 sports disciplines in its calendar including compulsory events track and field and swimming.

It was far from the record 530 events and 56 disciplines when the Filipinos hosted the biennial meet in December last year, resulting to a historic 149 gold medals and the overall title.

“Vietnam gave 36 sports and 450 events in the SEA Games,” said Tolentino. The Tagaytay Congressman and PhilCycling chief, however, said Vietnam might accept half of the eight proposals of eight countries. Tolentino stressed he would lobby for events where the country has a strong chance to rake in the golds like arnis, triathlon and skateboard among others. “They might accept four more sports from proposals of eight countries,” he said.

Archery, badminton, 3x3 and 5x5 basketball, billiards and snooker, boxing, canoe-kayak, chess, cycling, dancesport, fencing, football and futsal, golf, gymnastics, aerobic, handball, judo, karate, muay, pencak silat, petanque, rowing, sepak takraw, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, indoor and beach volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling and wushu are the other sports penciled for Hanoi.

Excluded were arnis, skateboarding, obstacle course, jiujitsu, esports, sailing, soft tennis, triathlon, sambo, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, modern pentathlon, baseball, duathlon, rugby, softball and squash where Philippine bets harvested a total of 58 golds in 2019. Tolentino said he would need to study the events first before making forecasts. “Hard to make projections right now, we’ll have to consider many things first before we make one,” he said.