Vietnam SEA Games a go in May—at least for now
MANILA, Philippines–For now.
That’s how host Vietnam painted it after it unveiled the road map of the Games in a virtual meeting among all chefs de mission (CDM) on Tuesday.
“They are all set and prepared,’’ said Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino after emerging from the meeting along with Team Philippines CDM Ramon Fernandez. “It’s certainly a go for the SEA Games in Hanoi in May.’’
Vietnam’s hosting of the delayed 11-nation meet has been set for May 12 to 25 in Hanoi after it was postponed from November last year due to the uptick of COVID-19 cases in the region.
There’s another ongoing spike happening, this time caused by the super contagious Omicron variant, prompting the organizers to hold the much-awaited CDM assembly online.
“My impression is that Hanoi is ready. The organizers were able to present several important details that we needed to know,’’ said Fernandez.
The Commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission added the competition venues are already geared up while the transportation, accommodation and other facets of the operations, including health and safety protocols, have been addressed.
“Even the schedule of arrival of athletes for every sport and their departure back to their respective countries have been tackled,’’ said Fernandez.
“Athletes should arrive two days before their competition and leave the following day after the tournament,’’ he added.
Tolentino said soft copies of the SEA Games manual were distributed during the meeting, which included the pre-Games formalities and complete timelines.
The POC has submitted a total of 627 Filipino athletes on its entry by numbers, which will see action in 39 of the 40 sports in the Hanoi program.
The deadline for the submission of entries by names is scheduled on March 12 followed by another CDM assembly on March 18.
Team Philippines has begged off from competing in Xianggi or Chinese chess, but will send athletes in bodybuilding after the sport was reinstated to the Games following its suspension due to widespread doping.
Tolentino said the accreditation center would open its doors on April 25, while medical and doping control handbooks would be available a month prior to the May 12 opening rites.
Another postponement by Vietnam will trigger a hosting cancellation since there won’t be enough time for 2023 host Cambodia to prepare for its first staging of the Games.
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