Friday, November 8, 2013

Olympic events may comprise over half of 2017 SEA Games events

Kuala Lumpur: Olympic Games events are expected to comprise over half of the events to be contested at the 2017 SEA Games.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) honorary secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi said this was based on experience when Malaysia hosted the SEA Games in 2001.

"Of the 32 events contested at 2001 SEA Games, 22 are Olympic events while the remaining ten events are often contested at the Asian Games and SEA Games.

"In my opinion, the number of events contested at 2017 SEA Games will most likely be the same as that in 2001," he told Bernama.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that Malaysia will host the 2017 SEA Games after the Cabinet meeting last week approved the proposal.

Earlier, National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong promised not to turn the 2017 SEA Games into a 'circus' by having ridiculous and irrelevant events.

The Malaysian contingent emerged overall champions of the 2001 SEA Games after winning 111 gold medals even without having to contest ridiculous events.

Sieh said a decision on the events to be contested at the 2017 SEA Games will be discussed by the SEA Games Organising Committee comprising the Youth and Sports Ministry, the NSC and the OCM.

"The events contested at 2017 SEA Games are popular sports in Malaysia.

We have no traditional sports such as kempo or vovinam except for silat which had been contested since the 1989 SEA Games.

"So, there is no problem if we list silat for the 2017 SEA Games. Based on experience, the events we list are not controversial."

SEA Games hosts had taken advantage of their position by listing traditional games as a means to win medals.

This caused controversy as the traditional games were not contested at major games such as the Asian Games and the Olympic Games.

Sieh also said that Myanmar which will host 2013 SEA Games in December had assured Malaysian ahtletes and officials not to worry about their safety there.

"This assurance was given by my counterpart from Myanmar whom I met during the Asean Sports for All Conference (in Putrajaya last month).

Several bombing incidents had occurred in Myanmar including at a luxury hotel in Yangon which hurt a United States citizen.

The 2013 SEA Games will be contested at several locations in Myanmar such as Yangon, Naypyitaw, Mandalay and Ngwe Saung. - Bernama

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