The Philippines will not hold several key track-and-field events at the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games next year, a decision that will likely affect Vietnam’s achievement level in the games as one of the leading athletics teams in the region.
Đặng Thị Thu Thảo may not have a chance to defend her long jump title at the 30th SEA Games
At the previous SEA Games in Malaysia, Vietnam topped the athletics ranking with 17 gold medals – a record for the biennial competition.
The organisers revealed a list of 41 events that did not include women’s long jump, high jump, heptathlon, the marathon, the 10,000m race or the men’s and women’s walk.
Vietnam are defending champions in women’s long jump and high jump and silver medallists in the 10,000m and women’s walk. The marathon has been a basic event of every SEA Games as it has been held at the Olympics since the first edition in 1896.
The organisers added two events never before seen in the SEA Games – mixed relay 4x100m and 4x400m.
According to Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, Deputy General Secretary of the Vietnam Athletics Federation, the removal of these traditional events is unreasonable. Vietnam and other countries will have a chance to submit their opinions on the list before the final version is announced on February 28.
The 30th SEA Games will be held from November 30 to December 11 in the cities of Manila, Clark and Subic. It will be the biggest ever edition with a record 56 sports.