Four sports disciplines have been added in the calendar of events for the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games after the SEAG Federation Executive Committee gave its thumb of approval recently.
The four sports included for the SEA Games next year are esports, jiu jitsu, triathlon and bowling. Of these four, esports, jiu jitsu and triathlon accounted for a combined 11 of the country’s 149 gold medals that gave Team Philippines the overall championship.
“It’s good for us,” Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Bambol Tolentino told Manila Bulletin in a message Thursday.
“We’re one of the countries that lobbied for it, we won gold medals in these sports during the last SEA Games here.”
The SEAG Federation Executive Committee approved the four sports during an online meeting arranged recently by host Vietnam, which will stage the event for the second time only since its first in 2003.
The surge in popularity of triathlon in the region was one of the main factors that the sport was reconsidered for the Games. Also, these special swim-bike-run tournaments are expected to return once the novel coronavirus pandemic is over.
The addition of esports, jiu jitsu, triathlon and bowling increased the number of sports for next year’s SEA Games to 40, which is smaller as compared to the 56 the Philippines had last year.
Next year’s SEA Games is set November 21 to December 2.