THE Philippine Olympic Committee will try its very best to sway Myanmar Southeast Asian Games organizers to include more sports and events to this year’s edition of the biennial meet.
Most of the events where the country is traditionally strong have not been included in the initial list draw up by Myanmar organizers, which includes a lot of non-traditional sports like chinlone, vovinam, tarung derajat, and kempo account for 58 gold medals.
If the current list stands, the Philippines will be able to defend only 20 of the 36 gold medals it won in the 2011 SEA Games when the country finished sixth in Indonesia two years ago.
Handball president Steve Hontiveros will be part of a four-man POC delegation that will attend the SEA Games Federation Council Meeting this weekend, where they will push for the inclusion of more Olympic sports in the Myanmar calendar.
Hontiveros pointed out that non-traditional sports in the current list account for 58 gold medals. He also cited the move by organizers to increase the number of events in dragon boat, where Myanmar is a perennial powerhouse.
However, Hontiveros admitted that it will be hard to force organizers to add more events.
“I think mahihirapan ipasok yung ibang sports and events pero we are working very hard,” said Hontiveros during Friday’s SCOOP forum.
Hontiveros, who will be joined by POC first vice-president Joey Romasanta, second vice-president Jeff Tamayo, and treasurer Julian Camacho in the conference, claimed that other countries are already protesting the current list as other Olympic sports like badminton, table tennis, lawn tennis, and water polo have all been excluded.
“Pagpunta namin doon, hindi lang kami ang aangal. (Other countries have) already submitted letters,” Hontiveros said.
“Hindi puwedeng tanggalin ‘yung mga Olympic sports. How come we are an IOC member but (the SEA Games is held) to please the host country to have all these events,” Hontiveros pointed out.
Hontiveros said that the POC had already asked the national sports associations to list down the events which they hope to be included in the 2013 program.