Puentevella not holding breath over NSA appeals for inclusion
Former Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chair Monico Puentevella is being realistic about it.
He doesn’t think things will turn out well for national sports associations (NSAs) who are seeking reconsideration after their exclusion in the calendar of next year’s 31st Southeast Asian Games.
Host Vietnam, after all, is zeroing in on the the overall title, and according to Puentevella, “They will just follow what we did … last year.”
“[They will] eliminate the medal-rich events for us and choose what’s only good for them,” added Puentevella, the Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president.
The Philippines hosted 56 sports in last year’s SEA Games and bagged 149 gold medals to seize the overall
title. A third of those golds will be wiped out in the coming meet after Vietnam organizers excluded several sports from next year’s program.
POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino is expected to make an appeal to the SEA Games Federation next week in behalf of the excluded sports.
Puentevella isn’t holding his breath: “Don’t even think the SEA Games Federation will [lift] a finger to help us because we got all that we wanted last year.”
Top Filipino officials from Olympic sports triathlon, skateboarding, modern pentathlon and rugby, together with arnis, the country’s national sport that produced the largest gold haul last year, are keen on appealing their case.
Vietnam has initially approved 36 sports, removing at least 15 sports that gave the Philippines 56 gold medals in 2019.
“Vietnam will also win the next SEA Games hands down. There’s nothing new. It has always been the friendly festival SEA Games,” Puentevella said.
Host countries normally dominate the 11-nation sportsfest and only four overall title champions in the last 13 editions of the Games reigned in foreign territory.