KUALA LUMPUR: The 30th edition of the SEA Games in the Philippines is just four months away but things aren’t looking rosy for the lawn bowlers.
The work to build new fields for lawn bowls and petanque at Global City in Manila has not even started while other venues like the Games Village and Aquatic Centre are still not ready.
The Games will be held from Nov 30-Dec 11.
The delay has forced the Malaysian lawn bowls team comprising 10 men and 10 women to train at the Angeles Sports and Country Club, which is the old venue used for the 2005 Manila SEA Games, during their one-week training stint in Manila recently.
Lawn bowls team manager Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Zain said they were shocked to see an empty land at the Global City, which is the lawn bowls venue for the upcoming Games.
“The work has not even started. I’m not sure how the organisers are going to host the Games,” said Syed Zainal.
“The new lawn bowls venue was supposed to be a synthetic pitch. It suits us and is good for competition.
“Instead of training on a synthetic pitch, we had to train on grass during our one-week training in Manila. It’s the same venue we used 14 years ago.
“It’s going to be hard to build the new venue in a short time. Besides, it rained almost everyday due to the monsoon when we were there.
“The new petanque venue, which was supposed to be beside us, is also currently an empty land.
“I was told by one of the officials here that we may have to bowl at the old venue during the SEA Games as it is quite impossible to build the new one in a short period of time,” said Syed Zainal.
Malaysia won seven out of eight gold medals at stake at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
The Philippines are gearing up to host the bigger-ever Games with 550 events in 57 sports.