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Timor Leste bets due early

The Philippines has granted the request of Timor-Leste to come eight weeks early for the 30thSoutheast Asian Games set to start Nov. 30.

The tiny republic, which was admitted in the Games only in 2003, is sending a motley 18-man delegation to the biennial Games.

BUTCH Ramirez

BUTCH Ramirez

In a letter to Tomas Carrasco of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc), Timor-Leste sports chief Laurentino Guterres sought assistance to bring their athletes and coaches early to train and prepare for the biennial meet.

In the spirit of goodwill, Carrasco said the Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Butch Ramirez approved his recommendation to foot the expenses of the delegation.

Timor Leste is sending 12 athletes to compete in pencak silat, taekwondo, tennis, cycling shooting and beach volleyball. They will be accompanied by six coaches.

Carrasco said finding a place to stay for the Timor-Leste athletes won’t be a problem.

“It’s not difficult to accommodate them. Kakaunti lang naman sila,” said Carrasco who assured the country’s readiness to host the Games for the third time.

The Phisgoc, PSC and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) have addressed the problems in the procurement of equipment that would be used in the Games, according to Carrasco.

“We expect to complete procurement by early November,” he said. “Anyway, many of our venues are still undergoing repairs.”

Carrasco said the venues for the 56 sports have been finalized except for obstacle course and floor ball.

Initially, obstacle course was set at the University of the Philippines’ Sunken Garden.

But UP raised concerns about the noise and traffic the event would draw.

“We are looking at a possible venue in Binan, Laguna,” he said.

The proposed floor ball venue, on the other hand, turned out to be not the correct size, according to Carrasco.

“We hope to complete the list of venues by next week,” he said.

Clark, site of athletics and aquatics, will serve as the main hub with Metro Manila hosting a number of high-profile sports like basketball, volleyball and football.

Aside from athletics and aquatics, Clark will host lawn bowls, petanque, archery, rugby 7s, baseball, softball, dance sport, golf, kurash, judo, arnis, sambo, wrestling and wakeboarding.

Subic, on the other hand, will be the site for canoe kayak, dragon boat, chess, muay, pencak silat, table tennis, triathlon, duathlon, open water swqimming, modern pentathlon, sailing, wind surfing, sepak takraw, beach handball, beach volleyball, rowing and shotgun shooting.

The other sports to be played in Metro Manila are badminton, bowling, e-sports, boxing, kickboxing, billiards, men’s football, weightlifting, taekwondo, soft tennis, tennis, squash, ice hockey, ice skating, wushu, karatedo, fencing, gymnastics, shooting and obstacle course.

Polo will be played at the Miguel Romero Sports Club, BMX cycling and skateboarding in Tagaytay, road cycling and mountain bike in Batangas, women’s football in Binan, Laguna, surfing in La Union, underwater hockey at the Vermosa Sports Hub, netball at the Sta. Rosa sports complex and indoor hockey at the LB Centro Mall and Convention Center. (Rey Bancod)