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First batch leaves for KL on Aug. 12

The first wave of athletes and officials flying to Kuala Lumpur, site of the 29th Southeast Asian Games, will leave Aug. 12, according to SEAG Task Force chief Tom Carrasco of the Philippine Olympic Committee.

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Carrasco said that batch would make up the biggest number as it will include the 40-strong men and women’s football teams, members of the archery squad, medical staff and the secretariat.

The SEAG formally kicks off on Aug. 19 but there would already be competitions and even gold medal matches set before the opening rites, noted Carrasco.

“We would like everything to be in place even before the SEAG begins,” he said.

As of the latest count, there will be 497 athletes and 163 coaches taking part in the 11-nation sportsfest that lasts until Aug. 30.

Only basketball has not submitted its final lineup and will only do so on June 27, three days before the Malaysian organizers’ deadline for the filing of names.

Football has the biggest number of athletes with 40 and it is closely followed by athletics with 38. Also sending big numbers include aquatics (28), Rugby 7 (24) and lawn bowls (20).

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) will review the roster as it will fund their participation by way of their per diem, hotel expenses, parade and training uniform, gear, luggage and airfare.