POC chief Cojuangco says removal of some sports in SEAG won’t help athletes
Revitalize the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) and make it a stepping stone for athletes aiming to shine in the Asian Games and the Olympics.
This will be the advocacy of local Olympic chief Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. in the country’s call for change on the hosting of the Southeast Asian Games.
“The Games should serve as a preparation for our athletes to do good in the Asian Games and the Olympics,” the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president said. “`But sadly, the performances of the athletes in the region have gone down in these high-caliber competitions.”
Cojuangco will bring up his displeasure when the Philippines hosts the Asian Games centennial celebration this November, where the 45 nations in the continent are expected to attend, including the 11 countries in the SEAG.
“I already mentioned this concern to some of the (SEAG) members and they agreed that we have to change the system because we’re losing medalists in the Olympics,” said Cojuangco.
No athlete from the 11-nation SEAG Federation won a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics, with Indonesia and Malaysia salvaging pride for the Asean region by taking home one silver and a bronze medal each.
REASON FOR REMOVAL
Cojuangco has attributed the sudden dip of performance to the plummeting level of competition due to the consistent removal of some Olympic sports in the biennial SEAG meet when the host country would find it tough to capture a gold.
A case in point is the Burma SEAG this Dec. 11-22, wherein organizers removed Olympic disciplines like lawn tennis, gymnastics and beach volleyball and put ethnic sports such as vovinam, kenpo and chinlone as substitutes.
“We’re not in favor on the set of sports that will be played. We want a competitive competition for our athletes that would help them improve their skills for the Asian Games and the Olympics,” said Cojuangco.
At least 40 events from these indigenous disciplines were added by Burma organizers while including 14 more events in chess and seven in dragon boat that are unknown to Filipino athletes.
Cojuangco said he would propose a fixed number of Olympic sports and a limited figure of traditional disciplines to be played in the SEAG, regardless of the host country. /inquirer
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