No breathing space for athletes with SEA Games confirmation


KUALA LUMPUR: It’s going to be a busy 2022 for our national athletes.

It has been confirmed that the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam will be held in May.

However, the Vietnam Organising Committee will only reveal the exact dates at the end of this month after getting confirmation from their government.

With the announcement, the National Sports Associations (NSA) will have to act fast to prepare athletes and officials for the biennial Games, the Birmingham Commonwealth Games (July 28-Aug 8) and Hangzhou Asian Games (Sept 10-25).

Meanwhile, Olympic Council of Malaysia president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria said the decision was made during the virtual SEA Games Federation (SEAGF) meeting, which was chaired by their chief executive officer Datuk Seri Chaiyapak Siriwat.

“We think we have reached a stage of certainty and a final decision on the implementation of the SEA Games.

“We wish to thank Vietnam for coming back with certainty in terms of the dates, that is May 2022,” he told a media conference after attending the virtual meeting at Wisma OCM here yesterday.

In July, the SEAGF confirmed that the Games scheduled from Nov 21-Dec 2 would be moved due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I am aware that 2022 will be a very busy year, with big sporting events like the Commonwealth Games scheduled for mid-2022 and the Asiad in November,” he said.

“The selection committee will be urged to hold a meeting as soon as possible to ascertain the athletes. Benchmarking is not going to be easy because of the pandemic,” he added.

“In the past, we usually use Sukma as a benchmark for junior athletes but this time around it will be different.

“So, we have to sit down and discuss how the selection will be done. I guess we have to adapt to new norms of sports and reset things.”

The Games chef de mission Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad said he will get cracking by meeting all the NSAs and monitor the selection process.

“We must make sure it goes well because we know next year is going to be busy. As for the target, we will only do so after our meetings with the NSAs.

“But I will make sure my soldiers are ready for war!”

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