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PH eyes 56 sports in ’19 SEA Games




Host Philippines will seek the formal approval of 56 sports in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games when a crucial meeting is held next month, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) said yesterday.

POC spokesperson Ed Picson said the official composition will be known during the SEAG Federation Council meeting slated Nov. 22-25.

“That’s when we are going to determine how many events (gold medals) will be contested,” said Picson, noting that while the number had been approved recently in Bangkok where former POC chief and SEAG Executive Commitee chairman Celso Dayrit spearheaded the country’s formal presentation.

The 56 sports include regional obscure choices like vovinam, floorball and indoor hockey, sports that some SEAG member nations are eyeing for inclusion.

“These are sports that will be considered given the tradition in hosting the SEAG,” said Picson.

The approved sports include Athletics and Aquatics, considered as Category 1 (mandatory) while Category 2 lists

Archery, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Billiard Sports, Bowling, Boxing, Chess, Cycling, Dance Sports, Equestrian/Polo, Hockey (indoor), Fencing, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Ice Hockey, Ice Skating, Judo, Karatedo, Modern Pentathlon, Muay, Pencak Silat, Rowing, Rugby 7’s, Sailing/Windsurfing, Sepak Takraw, Shooting, Softball, Soft tennis, Squash, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Traditional Boat Race, Triathlon, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Wrestling, Wushu, Petanque and Surfing.

Falling under Category 3 are Arnis, E-Sports, Jujitsu, Kick Boxing, Kurash, Lawn Bowls, Obstacle Course,Floorball, Sambo, Skateboarding, Underwater Hockey and Vovinam.

The Philippines, being the host, is given leeway in the inclusion of sports as in the past when other countries were the hosts and this should help the country duplicate its feat in 2005 when it took the overall crown.

The main hub of the 2019 edition of the biennial sportsfest will be the New Clark Green City near Capas, Tarlac.

But the marquee sports like basketball and boxing are going to be played in Metro Manila.

Expected to threaten the Philippines’s bid for the overall title is the region’s powerhouse Thailand.

Aside from Thailand, the Philippines should also be wary of Indonesia and Malaysia with the former coming off a rousing performance in the 2018 Asian Games.

Meanwhile, the bid of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines to include juniors competition in the SEAG won’t likely materialize, Picson bared.

“We were advised that junior boxers can see action in several tournaments meant for their age bracket so we will not include them,” he said.