Early SEA Games preps possible, says Tolentino
Team Philippines will begin mapping out its plan of action for the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Cambodia as soon the host nation rolls out a detailed calendar of events next month.
Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino said the SEA Games Federation gathering on Aug. 15 in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh would unveil the events for each of the 40 sports to be played at the Games.
“This will give us an opportunity to draw up our strategy early. It will likewise provide the chance for NSAs (national sports associations) to choose and train their athletes ahead of time in events that will be included,’’ said Tolentino.
Cambodia will stage the 11-nation biennial meet for the first time from May 5 to 16 next year.
“Our performance will depend on the events that will be chosen by Cambodia,’’ said Tolentino, the newly elected Tagaytay City mayor and PhilCycling president.
Filipino athletes are anticipated to bring home a truckload of medals from events such as dancesport, esports, athletics, basketball, billiards, boxing, chess, cycling, triathlon/duathlon, gymnastics, judo, karate, kickboxing, jiujitsu, obstacle race, taekwondo, traditional boat race, weightlifting, wrestling and wushu.
Clearly, the host nation of just over 17 million won’t be a contender for the top plum, leaving the race for the overall championship wide open.
“It’s anybody’s ballgame. But of course with due respect to Cambodia,’’ said Tolentino
Cambodia has never been in the mix for the overall crown in the SEA Games, a title that often the host country wins because of its ability to control the competition calendar.
Vietnam, as host, expectedly ruled the recent edition of the Games in Hanoi while Thailand and Indonesia fleshed out their usual roles as contenders.
Filipino athletes likewise have been faring pretty well, finishing fourth overall in Hanoi after collectively securing the overall title during the Philippine staging back in 2019.
“We are looking to send a full contingent to Cambodia with entries in all sports. We’re just waiting for the final list of events,’’ said Tolentino.
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