2019 SEAG committees meet under way

MANILA, Philippines — Four Filipinos will preside as chairs of Southeast Asian Games Federation committees in meetings involving delegates from 11 countries at the Shangri-La Hotel in Bonifacio Global City today.

Three groups will hold simultaneous sessions from 9 a.m. to 12 noon with orthopaedic surgeon and six-time Olympic medical officer Dr. Jose Raul Canlas heading the medical committee, former POC chairman Tom Carrasco in charge of the sports and rules committee and POC deputy secretary-general Karen Caballero on top of the women in sports committee. From 2:30 to 5 p.m., former POC president Celso Dayrit will lead the discussions of the executive committee.

The next morning, the chairs of the four committees will report to the SEA Games Federation Council on their deliberations and the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) will make a progress presentation of what to expect when the SEA Games are held here on Nov. 30-Dec. 9, 2019. POC president Ricky Vargas will preside in the council meeting where some 80 delegates are expected to attend. In the afternoon, Vargas, POC secretary-general and PHISGOC director general Patrick Gregorio, PHISGOC executive director Tats Suzara and Dayrit will brief the media on the council discussions in a press conference.

Dr. Canlas will detail the coverage of the medical team to include dope testing, applying IOC protocols, to be supervised by Dr. Alex Pineda. Carrasco will submit an initial roster of sports to be staged in venues in Manila, New Clark City and Subic. The deliberations will focus on sports under three categories – 1 for aquatics and athletics as mandatory Olympic sports, 2 for Olympic and Asian Games sports and 3 for traditional or indigenous sports. There are 38 sports in Category 2 to choose from while 15 are listed under Category 3. The host country is required to hold at least 22 sports under the three categories. Category 2 must include at least 14 sports and Category 3, at least two and a maximum of eight. Only sports in the existing SEA Games list under the three categories will be considered unless the council approves new additions. For a sport to be entered in the SEA Games calendar, at least four countries must participate.

Suzara said aside from the Philippines making a serious bid for the overall championship, a key objective of PHISGOC is to stage the SEA Games at a lofty Asian Games level with the view of showcasing Manila, New Clark City and Subic as among the best sports tourist destinations in the world. Each hub will hold its own lineup of centerpiece sports with Manila tapped to host basketball at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, volleyball at the Mall of Asia Arena, gymnastics at the SMX Trade Halls and football at the Rizal Memorial, Subic to host boxing, taekwondo, weightlifting and fencing and Clark to host athletics, aquatics, shooting, archery and bowling.