Host Vietnam announced Friday the new dates for the rescheduled 31st Southeast Asian Games.
According to Vietnam’s national Olympic committee website and reports from Channel News Asia, the biennial meet will be held on May 12 to 23, 2022.
The multisport regional event was originally scheduled this Nov. 21 to Dec. 2, but Vietnamese organizers decided to delay their hosting due to pandemic concerns.
Despite the delay, Hanoi still remains the main hub with 11 other sub-venues.
With the new dates, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Bambol Tolentino said the majority of the athletes, coaches and officials competing in the SEAG would not be able to cast their votes for the national elections on May 9, 2022.
Delegates must be in Vietnam days before the opening due to the stringent health protocols they needed to undergo.
Athletes also needed to acclimatize and get the feel of the competition venues, environment and weather, which has been a standard procedure when competing abroad.
The country is expected to send 626 athletes to compete in 39 of the 40 sports in the meet.
“This is one of those sacrifices of having to represent the country in an international competition,” said Tolentino.
With the dates finalized, Tolentino said national teams can now specifically program their training for the meet.
The PH team seeks to retain its overall championship in the meet after winning 149 gold, 117 silver and 121 bronze medals in 56 sports.
Vietnam was at far second with 98 gold, 85 silver and 105 bronzes.