ASIDE from the tough opposition awaiting them, Filipino athletes bound for the 27th Southeast Asian Games also have to endure the long trip from Manila to Myanmar.
The absence of direct flights from here to the country also known as Burma has left local sports officials with no choice but to book two connecting flights all the way to Naypyitaw, which serves as the main hub of the biennial meet.
The second batch of Filipino delegates to leave for Myanmar arrived at Naypyitaw Wednesday, travelling for nearly 17 hours following stopovers in Singapore and Yangon after leaving Manila Tuesday morning (8 a.m.)
Yet despite the long travel, Philippine Chef De Mission Jeff Tamayo commended the smooth services provided by the organizers with less than a week before the Games formally begin.
“It is an isolated place,” Tamayo said, referring to Naypyitaw. “Noon, worried tayo sa support service to run the Games but sabi ng advance party, very smooth lahat. I’m looking forward to that dahil mas magiging maganda sa mga atleta.”
Tamayo will be leaving Thursday for Myanmar, leading the fourth batch of Philippine delegation going to the SEA Games along with athletes from rowing and pencak silat.
The men’s basketball team, boxing, and canoe kayak left last Wednesday, while the first batch of Filipino athletes to arrive in Myanmar includes those from wrestling, wushu, and sailing.
Although the formal duration of the meet runs from December 11 to 22, events will already be played as early as December 6.