PH to join every sport in SEA Games–including ‘kon bokator’ and ‘ouk chatrang’
In Cambodia’s sporting calendar for its hosting of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, there will be such sports as “kon bokator,” a martial art practiced by the ancient local Khmer military.
Shoehorned into the biennial meet via a privilege granted to host countries, kon bokator will offer 21 gold medals. Another six golds will be at stake for “ouk chatrang,” a Khmer chess game.
Cambodia, which won just nine gold medals in the previous SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, is expected to dominate both disciplines and scale the medal ladder.
The Philippines hopes to stay several rungs beyond the host’s reach—and make its assault on the top of the standings—by hoisting its chances on 814 athletes.
“It’s again a fighting team and the goal is to send the best full contingent as possible,” said Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, following the completion of two consultative meetings with national sports associations on Monday.
The Philippines is looking to participate in all 49 sports, featuring 608 events, on tap for the May 5 to 16 meet, including the two obscure Cambodian sports.
POC sources told the Inquirer that chess grandmaster Eugene Torre, who is reportedly well-versed in ouk chatrang, will train players for that event while the Pilipinas Sambo Federation Inc. will take care of producing athletes for kon bokator.
The POC already met with representatives from combat sports or martial arts last week and concluded the meeting with their counterparts from ball games and other disciplines.
Baseball chief Chito Loyzaga, chef de mission to the Cambodia Games, was with his deputies Leonora Escollante (canoe kayak) and Paolo Tancontian (sambo) in the meetings held at the East Ocean Garden Restaurant in Pasay City. INQ
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