Up in arms: OCM baffled by latest changes to SEA Games sports

KUALA LUMPUR: The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) will launch a protest after the Philippines South-East Asian Games Organising Committee (Phisgoc) made changes to four different sports for the SEA Games.

Phisgoc have replaced the women’s open water swimming event with the men’s event.

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In Polo, B Division 4-7 Goals will replace the 4-G Goals upon advice from the Federation of International Polo.

Phisgoc also replaced the men’s canoe singles 1,000m with the kayak singles 1,000m.

OCM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria (pic) said they were informed of the changes through a letter from Phisgoc.

“We are puzzled. We thought they have finalised all events ... apparently not. We will have to inform the relevant associations about the bad news,” said Norza after chairing the OCM executive board meeting yesterday.

Malaysia were banking on a gold medal in the women’s open water as Heidi Gan is the defending champion.

“We will protest on the changes as it has seriously affected the preparation of our athletes,” added Norza.

“I am in the WhatsApp group of the SEA Games Federation and the other countries have also voiced their displeasure.”

A total of 550 events will be held in the 30th edition of the Games which will start on Nov 30-Dec 11.

Meanwhile, Norza said they would set up a crisis management committee to help sports associations beset with internal problems.

“The committee will be represented by officials from the Youth and Sports Ministry and the National Sports Council,” said Norza.

Recently, the Malaysian Karate Federation were in the news when 12 affiliates handed a vote of no confidence against the parent body.