'PH to go somewhere in between for 2019 SEA Games sports lineup'
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the Philippines will strike a balance between fairness and using the rules to its advantage as host when the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games are held in the country in 2019.
Cayetano, who is also the chair of the 2019 SEA Games Organizing Committee, told reporters here that he met separately with the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee to determine their positions on this issue. There were still no definite decisions made after these initial meetings on what sports to include when the country hosts the biennial event.
"Siguro in a week or two both the structure and the sports na makasama (will be determined.)," he said. (Maybe in a week or two both the structure and the sports will be determined.)
Host countries have the liberty to choose which sports they would include for competition. However, criticism is always rife that hosts tend to add or remove events that suit their strength. This explains why host nations traditionally do well in the overall medal table.
Cayetano said the Philippines will go for somewhere in the middle of that rule to be fair to everyone.
"There’s two fields of thought: one is to fully utilize the rules, and talagang tayo bahala sa number of sports na allowed tayo (and we will decide the number of sports allowed)," he said. "The other is to keep as much to the Olympic sports para patas lahat (so it's fair to everyone). Usually it’s somewhere in between."
In this year's SEA Games, the Philippines took a hit in potential gold medals when host Malaysia scrapped women's weightlifting and women's boxing events.
The Philippines has been stumbling since it last hosted in 2005 – from 113 golds then to 29 gold medals in 2013 and 2015.
This year the Philippines' campaign has floundered with only two more days of competition left. The target was to get 50 gold medals, but the country still has only 23 golds as of this writing. The possibility looms that the Philippines will not surpass or even tie its 2015 output.
Cayetano said he plans to use the next two years as an opportunity to breathe new life into Philippine sports from the grassroots level upwards as the country also gears up for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. (READ: SEA Games Committee chair Cayetano: 'It’s time people managing sports act like a team') – Rappler.com