Malaysia biggest threat to Philippines' bid for overall title in SEA Games | Inquirer Sports

Malaysia biggest threat to Philippines’ bid for overall title in SEA Games

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 08:40 PM October 03, 2019

Malaysian Olympics Council’s President Norza Zakaria (fourth left) lights the torch with the Philippines Olympics Council representatives look on during the Flame Handover Ceremony for the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Philippines will be the host city of the 30th SEA Games on Nov. 30 – Dec. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/FL Wong)

KUALA LUMPUR—Malaysia is dead serious in retaining its overall title in the Southeast Asian Games.

Besides sending an army of 1,061 athletes, the host country of the 2017 SEA Games will see action in 52 out of 56 sports in the coming 11-nation sportsfest in the Philippines.


“When they hosted the SEA Games, the Malaysians worked hard to win the overall championship on their turf,’’ said Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee chief operating officer Ramon Suzara.


Top Malaysian sports officials led by Olympic Council of Malaysia president Norza Zakaria, handed over the symbolic SEA Games flame to the Philippines on Thursday at the Bukit Jalil Stadium here.

Though it had formally transferred the responsibility of organizing the Games and relinquished control, Malaysia remains one of the teams that the collective efforts of Filipino athletes should overcome.

From Kuala Lumpur, the lantern that carries the flame will kick off a series of torch relays in Davao City, Cebu City and Clark.

In between these activities, the torch will likewise be presented to President Duterte in Malacanang, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The final destination for the torch will be at the Philippine Arena in Marilao, Bulacan during the opening ceremonies of the Games on Nov. 30.

Receiving the flame with Suzara from Zakaria and top Malaysian sports officials were Philippine Sports Commissioner Celia Kiram and Philippine Olympic Committee board member Cynthia Carrion.


“As we received the flame from Malaysia, we also received the responsibilities that come with hosting the Games,’’ said Suzara. “It is a symbol of solidarity and friendship among the Southeast Asian nations.’’

Also present during the handover were Phisgoc Director of Support and Operations Jojit Alcazar, Phisgoc deputy director general for athletes village Arrey Perez and Capas, Tarlac Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan.

New Clark City, the hub of the Games, is located in Capas, Tarlac while Subic and Metro Manila formed the two other clusters that will host the majority of the sports.

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Filipino athletes Pauline Lopez (taekwondo), Ian Clark Bautista (boxing) and two-time SEAG gold medalist Nikko Huelgas (triathlon) also witnessed the ceremony.

TAGS: Malaysia, Philippines, SEA Games, SEA Games 2019, Sports

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