POC pushes for later staging of SEA Games
The Tokyo Olympics, moved almost exactly a year later from its original schedule, is not the only multisport event that Filipino athletes should prepare for in 2021.
The 31st Southeast Asian Games is also penciled for that year and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino wants the biennial meet to take place at least three months after the Summer Games.
“We will recommend that Vietnam hosts the 31st SEA Games during the latter part of the year, just like our hosting in 2019,” Tolentino said.
Vietnam has tentatively scheduled the Games on Nov. 21 to Dec. 2, 2021, in Hanoi. The Vietnam edition will feature 36 to 40 sports, majority of which are Olympic disciplines.
The SEA Games Federation has yet to give its formal stamp of approval on the proposed calendar. The Philippines hosted the SEA Games last year, with the opening ceremonies held on Nov. 30.
Vietnam organizers have set a May 20 and 21 SEA Games Federation meeting in Hanoi to officially present its program and finalize the dates.
“Those dates provide enough window from [the] Tokyo [Olympics] and will give our athletes who will compete in the Olympics adequate time to prepare,’’ said Tolentino, a congressman and the country’s national cycling chief.
Filipino athletes captured the overall title of the 30th SEA Games late last year as hosts with a total of 149 gold medals, 117 silvers and 121 bronzes from 56 sports.
“Our goal in the next SEA Games is to stay competitive at a high level,” Tolentino said.