AS EXPECTED, Myanmar won the first two gold medals of the 27th Southeast Asian Games in the unfamiliar sport of chinlone on Wednesday, exactly a week before the biennial meet formally gets going.
The host defeated Thailand in The Linking event for men and women’s that had four countries participating, to earn the distinction as the first gold medalists in this year’s edition of the SEA Games.
Chinlone is a traditional sport in Myanmar somewhat similar to sepak takraw and sipa.
A check with Wikipedia describes chinlone as played by a team of six players “passing the ball back and forth with their feet, knees, and heads as they walk around in circles,” with one player dancing.
Play is dead when the ball drops to the ground.
Chinlone is one of the non-traditional events included by the host in the meet’s calendar of events, a move which Philippine sports officials believed was made to overtake the country in the overall medal standings.
The host also removed a few Olympic sports in its calendar such as tennis and gymnastics.
The meet will be held from December 11 to 22, although few events are already being played, with wushu, boxing, and basketball set to start in a few days.