PH recommends Vietnam SEA Games pushback due to Olympics delay
MANILA, Philippines – The next Southeast Asian (SEA) Games may be pushed back as well.
The Philippines, the host and overall champion of the 2019 SEA Games, is set to recommend to Vietnam to delay the hosting of the regional biennial meet following the one-year postponement of the Tokyo Olympics.
"We will recommend that Vietnam hosts the 31st SEAG Games during the latter part of the year [just like ours]," said Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino in a statement.
Olympic organizers said it will stage the Tokyo Games “beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The SEA Games Council is set to meet in Hanoi from May 20 to 21 for the host country to officially present its program, but it is uncertain whether it will push through as scheduled.
Online reports say Vietnam plans to host the 2021 Games from November 21 to December 2, but has yet to receive the approval of the SEA Games Federation.
The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is set to become a logistical nightmare as global sports calendars will be severely affected.
But the Phiilppine Olympic Committee has supported the delay as it will give Filipino athletes more chances to qualify for the quadrennial meet.
Only 4 Filipinos – pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, and boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno – have secured slots to the biggest global sports showpiece, and will also be given more time to prepare for possible golden performances.
The Philippines is still in search for its first Olympic gold. (READ: Philippine Olympic Committee: Tokyo 2020 postponement 'not an issue')
There are currently 64 Filipino athletes bidding to qualify for the Olympiad. These athletes are coming from archery, athletics, swimming, basketball, boxing, cycling, canoe-kayak, fencing, golf, gymnastics, judo, karate, rowing, skateboarding, table tennis, taekwondo, triathlon, weightlifting, and wrestling.
Out of the 64, an estimated 18 athletes have above-average chances of booking a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics – Rappler.com