OCM Weekly Highlights
4th January 2009
OCM Official Website: www.olympic.org.my
33rd Malaysian National & 22nd Interstate Bowling Championships – 10th to 17th January 2009 at Sunway Megalanes, Sunway Pyramid, Bandar Sunway,
FIBA – Asia International Referees Course – 9th & 10th January 2009 at MABA Stadium, Jalan Hang Jebat, Kuala Lumpur.
FIBA – Asia Match Commissioners Course – 11th & 12th January 2009 at MABA Stadium, Jalan Hang Jebat, Kuala Lumpur.
17th OCM Executive Board Meeting – 20th January 2009 at 4.30 p.m. at OCM Boardroom, 1st Floor, Wisma OCM, Kuala Lumpur
151st OCM Council Meeting – 7th February 2009 at 9.30 a.m. at Conference Room, Ground Floor, Wisma OCM, Kuala Lumpur.
OCM Sports Goodwill Ambassadors Annual Gathering – 7th February 2009 at 11.30 a.m. at Conference Room, Ground Floor, Wisma OCM, Kuala Lumpur.
Sports Programme of the 25th SEA Games 2009
There have been some erroneous reporting by the media on the sports programme of the 25th SEA Games to be held in Vientiane, Laos, from 9th to 18th December 2009. The mistakes have caused some confusion among the national sports associations and others. At the last SEA Games Federation Council meeting held in Vientiane, on 13th November 2008, the final list of sports and events was approved and announced. The 25th SEA Games will have 25 sports and 390 events. However, the 25th SEA Games Organizing Committee had wrongly included Soft Tennis as part of Tennis. This is incorrect because Soft Tennis is a separate and different sport from Tennis, under different International Federations. Hence there are 26 sports and 390 events and not 25 sports and 390 events as announced by the 25th SEA Games Organizing Committee.
There are reports that Archery, Cycling and Weightlifting are not in the 25th SEA Games Programme. This in incorrect, as the above three sports have been included. For Archery, there are a total of 8 events, 4 more than the Olympic Games, as the 25th SEA Games Organizing Committee has included Compound Bows for team and individuals for men and for women. Track Cycling has been dropped as Laos does not have a velodrome, but Road Cycling and Mountain Bikes have been included with a total of 8 events, 4 for men and 4 for women.
From 1959 to 1985, the maximum number of sports in the SEAP/SEA Games was only 18. From 1987, the restriction on the maximum number of sports and events in the SEA Games was lifted and the number of sports and events since then are as follows: 26 sports and 348 events in the 1987 Jakarta SEA Games, 24 sports and 302 events in the 1989 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, 28 sports and 326 events in the 1991 Manila SEA Games, 29 sports and 317 events in the 1993 Singapore SEA Games, 28 sports and 334 events in the 1995 Chiang Mai SEA Games, 34 sports and 430 events in the 1997 Jakarta SEA Games, 21 sports and 230 events in the 1999 Brunei SEA Games, 32 sports and 392 events in the 2001 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, 32 sports and 444 events in the 2003 Vietnam SEA Games, 40 sports and 444 events in the 2005 Philippine SEA Games and 43 sports and 477 events in the 2007 Korat SEA Games. Thus the 26 sports and 390 events which have been included in the 25th SEA Games, are not the lowest number of sports and events in the SEA Games.
On the question of whether the sports selected for the 25th SEA Games is fair or not, it would be appropriate to compare the 25th SEA Games sports programme with that of the 1999, 2001 and 2003 SEA Games, as the number of sports in the four SEA Games are quite close.
The sports which have been dropped from the 1999 SEA Games are Basketball, Hockey, Lawn Bowls, Squash, Tenpin Bowing, and Traditional Boat Race (6), while the sports that have been added are Archery, Judo, Fin Swimming, Muay, Petanque, Soft Tennis, Shuttlecock, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Wrestling and Wushu (11)
The sports which have been dropped from the 2001 SEA Games are Basketball, Equestrian Fencing, Gymnastics, Hockey, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Rowing, Sailing, Squash and Tenpin Bowling, (11), while the sports that have been added are Fin Swimming, Muay, Soft Tennis, Shuttlecock and Wrestling (5)
The sports which have been dropped from the 2003 SEA Games are Basketball, Bodybuilding, Canoe, Chess, Fencing, Gymnastics, Handball, Rowing, and Traditional Boat Race (9), while the sports that have been added are Golf, Muay and Soft Tennis (3).
From the above the popular Olympic programme sports which have been dropped are: Basketball, Canoe, Equestrian, Fencing, Gymnastics, Hockey, Rowing and Sailing, while the popular non-Olympic programme sports are Squash and Tenpin Bowling.
The main reasons of the 25th SEA Games dropping the above sports are as follows:
• There are no national sports associations in Laos of most, if not all of the above sports, such as Equestrian, Fencing, Hockey, Sailing, Squash, etc.;
• The sports are not played, competed or popular in Laos;
• There are no international sports facilities and equipment of these sports in Laos;
• There is no technical expertise to organized and manage the competitions;
• Laos is a developing country with a population of about 6.5 million, and as such it does not have the human and financial resources as well as supporting infrastructure, such as hotels, broadcast center, etc., to organize more than 25 sports;
• As a result of hosting the 25th SEA Games in 2009, a National Sports Complex, comprising an outdoor stadium, an indoor aquatics center, a tennis center, a rifle and pistol shooting range, a couple of indoor halls are under construction;
• Laos has included only 2 non main stream sports, Fin Swimming and Shuttlecock. Every past SEA Games hosts have done it. In fact Fin Swimming is quite a popular sport with regular World and Asian Championships. Please check Wikipedia for more details.
• To optimize the use of the competition venues, the 25th SEA Games Organizing Committee has selected 8 out of the 26 sports are Martial Art sports, which can be organized in indoor halls, for two sports, one after the other;
• The claim that the exclusion of some of the sports in the 25 SEA Games programme would result in Malaysia losing 34 gold medals is incorrect. Based on the Malaysia’s gold medal tally from the 2001 to 2007 SEA Games, Malaysia will lose 44 gold medals out of 111 in 2001, 11 gold medals out of 43 gold medals in 2003, 21 gold medals out of 61 gold medals in 2005 and 26 gold medals out of 68 gold medals in 2007;
• Realistically, the actual number of gold medals lost is actually from Gymnastics and Tenpin Bowling, as the other sports, such as Equestrian, Hockey, and Lawn Bowls, Sailing and Squash are well beyond the capacity of Laos to host them.
• In the case of Gymnastics, both Brunei Darussalam and Laos have not included the sport as it is too expensive and too complicated for small countries to organize and the probability of the sport not being practiced after the SEA Games is over.
• In the case of Tenpin Bowling, there is no international recognized Tenpin Bowling venue in Vientiane.
• In the case of Basketball and Water Polo, the 25th SEA Games Organizing Committee has agreed in principle for Philippine Olympic Committee to fund the Basketball competitions and the Singapore National Olympic Council to fund the Water Polo competitions of the 25th SEA Games. Once the details have been finalized, Basketball and Water Polo would be included. Of course, if agreement could not be reached, Basketball and Water Polo will be excluded.
In conclusion, the following facts ought to be recognized:
1. The 25th SEA Games Organizing Committee has been fair in the selection of the 26 sports and 390 events for the 25th SEA Games.
2. The 25th SEA Games Organizing Committee has not taken advantage of being the host by selecting the sports in which Laos is strong, as irrespective of whatever sports are selected, Laos will not finish among the first five countries in the medal tally.
3. The sports dropped are based on the non-availability of international standards competitions venues and competitions equipments, non-existence of National Sports Association in Laos of a large number of sports, insufficient internationally qualified judges and technical officials, and insufficient human and financial resources.
4. The 25th SEA Games Organizing Committee has followed the rules in the selection of the sports and events and there were no attempt to be unfair or to take advantage of being the host of the 25th SEA Games.
5. Every country in the SEA Games Federation will lose some medals because of the exclusion of some sports and Malaysia will not be the country which would be disadvantaged, any more than the other participating countries.
6. Unfortunately, statements have been made, by OCM officials and the media, which are not based on facts and this has caused concerns and confusion among the sports people and the National Sports Associations.
7. As a founder member of the SEAP Games in 1959, Laos has finally decided to take up the challenge of hosting the SEA Games for the first time in 50 years. Being a small land-locked country with around 6.5 million people, Laos requires much support and encouragement from the more experienced and effluent member NOCs of the SEA Federation.
The table below shows the sports which have been included in the past 5 SEA Games from 1999 to 2007 and the 2009 SEA Games. The table clearly shows that based on cultural, historical and economic background there cannot be a common acceptance of some sports (especially expensive sports), just because these sports are popular in the larger and more effluent countries.
Virtual Olympic Congress
The deadline for the submission of contributions to the Virtual Olympic Congress has been extended to 28th February 2009. If you have not yet made your contribution to the Virtual Olympic Congress please do so immediately by registering at http: //www. 2009 congress. olympic. org /en /Pages/default. aspx