PETALING JAYA: The KL SEA Games are just seven months away, but the venue for ice skating and ice hockey – the Empire City in Mutiara Damansara – is still not ready.
But SEA Games organising committee chief executive officer Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong is not worried.
He said that the developers of the Olympic-sized ice skating rink had assured him that it would be ready next month.
Zolkples is confident that the athletes will be able to use the venue for training in April and they would also be able to conduct a test run in May, as scheduled.
“The Empire City is being built in phases. The first phase includes the ice skating rink. We are aware that the hotel and shopping mall, which come under their second and third phases, will not be ready for the Games,” said Zolkples.
“Our focus is the ice skating venue.
“We have a team monitoring the progress of the venue and, so far, we have nothing to be worried about.”
The winter sport will make its debut at the SEA Games.
A total of eight gold medals will be up for grabs in ice skating – two in figure skating and six in short track speed skating. Ice hockey offers one gold medal.
The bulk of the sports during the SEA Games will be held in the Klang Valley, with the core sports like athletics, football, aquatics, squash, hockey and badminton being held at the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex.
The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) will feature six sports while the Malaysian International Trade Exhibition Centre in Jalan Duta will host another eight.
Equestrian will be held in Kuala Terengganu and sailing in Pulau Langkawi. Track cycling events will be at the National Velodrome in Nilai, Negri Sembilan.
The 29th SEA Games will feature a total of 405 events in 38 sports while the Para Games will feature 16 sports.
An estimated 8,000 athletes and officials from 11 countries are expected to converge on KL for the SEA Games.