THE Philippine Olympic Committee is batting for more Olympic events in next year’s Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.
A four-man POC delegation led by secretary general Steve Hontiveros will fly to Myanmar on July 12 to attend a Southeast Asian Games Federation Council Meeting where events to be calendared for the Games are expected to be discussed.
According to reports reaching the POC, there will be 30 sports tentatively set to be played in Naypyidaw, Myanmar -- a number much less than the 44 sports held during last year's SEA Games in Indonesia.
From the 44 played in Indonesia, 21 were Olympic sports, at least five were sports held only in the SEA Games such as fin swimming and petanque, and several were non-traditional sports such as bridge, paragliding, rollerskating, water skiing and the Vietnamese martial art vovinam.
Hontiveros, who will be joined in the trip by POC chairman Monico Puentevella, treasurer Julian Camacho and board member Jeff Tamayo, said the organizing committee should put emphasis on Olympic sports and limit the inclusion of non-traditional sports.
“Personally, I want them to prioritize Olympic sports,” Hontiveros said. “Out of the 28 Olympic sports, there should be a minimum of 20.
“There should be at least six sports that are included in the Asian Games. Then, a third bracket of sports where the host country can choose two sports.”
Last week, Hontiveros met with various national sports associations to determine what events they prefer to be included in the SEA Games.
The Filipinos will be seeking to improve on their sixth-place finish in last year’s Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia where they won 36 gold medals.