Manila mulls biggest games ever

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Next year’s 30th edition of the SEA Games will be hosted in Manila. Courtesy NOCC

The 2019 Southeast Asian Games will host 529 events in 56 sporting disciplines in what is expected to be the largest event in its history.

Next year’s 30th edition of the SEA Games will be hosted in Manila between November 30 to December 10 and discussions over the weekend saw SEAG Federation Council members from all but one of the participating nations take part.

Cambodia was represented by Vath Chamroeun, secretary general of the kingdom’s National Olympic Committee, who took part in the weekend’s talks at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City. The secretary general said the final list of sports will be revealed next month.

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“It’s the biggest and we are happy that the SEA Games Federation agreed to the program,” Philippine National Olympic Committee President Ricky Vargas told reporters. In September, the Philippines committed $145 million to the Games budget.

At the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in 2017, Cambodia won three gold, two silver and 12 bronze medals, surpassing the record achieved in the 2015 SEA Games.

Petanque doubles winners Ke Leng and Ouk Sreymom won a team gold, while men’s muay 63kg medallist Khim Dima and female taekwondo under 73kg winner Sorn Seavmey also nabbed individual gold medals.

For 2019, Sports have been divided into three categories with athletics and aquatics falling under Category 1 disciplines. There will be 44 events in athletics and 42 in aquatics.

Category 2 sports include archery, badminton, baseball, basketball, billiards, 10-pin bowling, boxing, canoe/traditional boat race, chess, cycling, dance sport, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, ice hockey, ice skating, judo and karate-do.

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Category 3 sports are made up of Arnis (a Filipino martial art), e-sports, floorball, ju-jitsu, kickboxing, kurash, lawn bowls/petanque, netball, obstacle course, sambo/vovinam, underwater hockey, and wakeboarding.

Hosting rights for 2019 were originally awarded to Brunei Darussalam but the country pulled out citing financial and logistical reasons. Cambodia will host the regional sporting competition in 2023.

The government is planning to spend about $400 million to organise the games and build a sporting complex, the Morodok Techo National Stadium, with aid granted from China.

Cambodia failed to organise the Sea Games in 1963 due to political issues with Thailand over the disputed Preah Vihear temple.

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