Home-grown sports here to stay, say SEA Games chiefs

4:48 pm | Friday, August 25th, 2017

Joeart Jumawan and Alvin Pangan of Philipines during the Chinlone event at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur where Chinlone team won the 1st silver for the country.
INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Southeast Asian Games organizers have given their strong backing to keeping home-grown sports like sepak takraw — as well as the policy of tailoring the program to suit the host country.

The biennial Games, whose 29th edition is underway in Malaysia, are known for their distinctive regional sports and unashamed home-nation bias.

The hosts have topped the medals table at six of the last 10 editions, and Malaysia look set to finish top in Kuala Lumpur — for the first time since they last hosted the Games in 2001.

The current Games feature only one Olympic champion, Singapore’s US-based swimmer Joseph Schooling, reflecting Southeast Asia’s struggles on the world stage.

But Games organizers said there were no plans to revise the SEA Games’ approach of showcasing colorful regional pursuits such as pencak silat to focus more closely on Olympic sports.

“The Olympic sports are very, very important, but some countries don’t have facilities for many of the Olympic sports,” said SEA Games Federation president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar.

“So yes, we will certainly have Olympic sports where we want to do well in Southeast Asia… but we also have to cater for sports that are popular within the region.”

Ball-juggling sport sepak takraw, played with the feet and a rattan ball, and the martial arts of pencak silat and wushu are among the disciplines that remain little-known outside of Asia.

The current, 11-nation SEA Games also feature lawn bowls, petanque, Muay Thai boxing and figure skating among their diverse schedule of 38 sports.

“Sepak takraw is very much a regional sport and very popular, so we have to ensure that those sports are properly covered,” said Tunku Imran.

“And then you have to give some opportunity to the host country to win some medals.”

According to the SEA Games charter, athletics and aquatics, which includes swimming and diving, are compulsory, and the hosts then choose at least 14 sports from a list of 38 which feature at the Olympics or Asian Games.

The home country can also pick between two and eight sports out of 16 listed in a third category, which includes the Southeast Asian favourites.

“We try to do a balance of what’s compulsory, what’s on the programme of the Olympic Games and Asian Games,” said Low Beng Choo, secretary of the Games’ sports and technical committee.

“But we also give the host country an opportunity to choose the regional or the sub-regional sports that are good for the host country.”


Tags: Malaysia , Olympics , SEA Games , SEA Games 2017 , sepak takraw

Related Stories:

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

Copyright 2012 INQUIRER.net. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate: c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94

PHOTOS & VIDEOS
Advertisement
POSCOUNTRYGOLDSILVERBRONZETOTAL
1United States462929104
2China38272388
3Great Britain29171965
4Russia24263282
5South Korea138728
6Germany11191444
7France11111234
8Italy891128
9Hungary84517
10Australia7161235

The Philippines has only won medals in three events since joining the Olympics in 1924.

The Philippines is the first nation in the tropics to ever participate in the Winter Olympic Games.

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, though not competing, carries the Philippine flag at the opening of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Arianne Cerdena won a gold in bowling at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, but Cerdena's gold was not included in the medal tally since bowling was considered only as a demonstration sport.

Teofilo Yldefonso is the first Filipino to win a medal and the only one to take home multiple medals. He finished third both in the Men's 200 meter breastroke during the 1928 and 1932 Olympics.

1972 was the last year the Philippine men's basketball team, which then paraded William 'Bogs' Adornado, Danny Florencio and Yoyong Martirez among others in its line up, has qualified for the Olympics.

The Philippines last reached the final round swimming 80 years ago when Jikirum Adjaluddin and Teofilo Yldefonso ended up in the final six in the 1932 Los Angeles Games.

The Philippines has not won a medal since Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco settled for silver in boxing via a controversial decision during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Harry Tañamor, the only Filipino predicted to win by the Sports Illustrated in its Olympic Preview edition, bows out in the first match up in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

John Baylon, a nine-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, and Jerry Diño were the last Filipino Olympic qualifiers in the discipline Judo, having vied in the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Men's boxing has for medals in the Olympics with Anthony Villanueva, silver in the Featherweight Division of the 1964 Games in Tokyo; Leopoldo Serantes, third in 1988 Seoul; Roel Velasco, third in Barcelona; and his brother Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco, second in the 1996 Atlanta Games.

With only eight athletes in six sporting events for the London Games, this will be PH's smallest delegation since 1996.

The men's Philippine Basketball team is the first country to ever score 100 or more points in the 1948 Olympics after clobbering Iraq,102-30.

The Philippines holds the record for winning the most medals without a gold haul with seven bronze and two silvers for a total of nine.

The largest delegation the Philippines has ever sent to the Games was 53 in the 1972 Munich Olympics.

The Philippines will shoot for its first gold medal in six of the following events in the 2012 London Olympics: Athletics, BMX, Boxing, Cycling, Shooting and Swimming.

The Philippines participated in the Winter Olympics three times, in 1972 (Juan Cipriano and Ben Nanasca, alpine skiing), in 1988 (Raymund Ocampo, luge) and in 1992 (Michael Teruel, alpine skiing).

The Philippines is the first country to compete and win an Olympic medal among Southeast Asian countries.

The Philippine basketball team wound up fifth place—best finish for an Asian country in the Olympics to date—in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the first time basketball was played as an Olympic sport.

Mary Antoinette Rivero's tie for fifth place in Taekwondo is the closest any Filipino athlete came to a medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Advertisement
Advertisement