SEA change for KL Games
Organisers omit some track and swimming events; canoeing, fencing miss cut
As it stands, the marathon, the 10,000m and the 3,000m steeplechase will not be part of the athletics programme at the South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Malaysia next year.
This was confirmed by the Olympic Council of Malaysia's (OCM) president Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar yesterday, after the two-day SEA Games Federation's (SEAGF) Sport and Rule Committee Meeting in Kuala Lumpur.
During the meeting, all 11 SEAGF council members unanimously accepted the provisional list of 34 sports and 342 events for the biennial Games, which Kuala Lumpur will host from Aug 19 to 31, 2017.
The omission of the athletics events reportedly caused ire even in Malaysia, with Singapore's SEA Games men's marathon champion of 2013, Mok Ying Ren, even starting an online petition for its reinstatement.
The event was won last year by compatriot Soh Rui Yong.
When contacted yesterday, OCM secretary general Low Beng Choo reiterated that the list of sports and events will only be finalised in July, and national sports associations (NSAs) and national Olympic committees (NOCs) have until the end of next month to submit their appeals.
Low said: "This is just the provisional list, there is still a possibility of adding sports and events.
"But there has to be good grounds for their inclusion.
"You can't appeal just on the basis that they have always been there, so they should continue to be there.
"Two countries have verbally appealed (for the omitted) athletics events, and NOCs and NSAs have until next month to appeal."
In addition to the athletics events, bodybuilding, canoeing, fencing, judo and triathlon were also omitted from the provisional list.
Canoeing and fencing accounted for 10 of Singapore's record 84 golds at the 2015 Games.
Singapore National Olympic Council secretary general Chris Chan said yesterday that he appealed for all 46 athletics events to be included next year, instead of the current 38.
He also asked for the inclusion of fencing, canoeing, triathlon and floorball, as well as extra events in water polo, rugby 7s, speed skating and swimming.
The 50m men's and women's backstroke, freestyle, butterfly and breaststroke in swimming have been excluded from the KL Games.
Singapore won seven of the eight 50m events last year.
The SNOC will work with Sport Singapore and the affected NSAs on their appeals, Chan added. But he warned: "There is a limit to the number of sports and events which the Malaysian SEA Games Organising Committee can manage for their sports programme, so some appeals will have to be turned down eventually."