Some sports to get dropped for next SEA Games 2009 in Laos

Posted by samakomlao Thursday, December 27, 2007

Dr Phouthong Seng-akhom answers questions at the press conference in Nakhon Ratchasima. – Photo Sisay

The popular sporting competition, the Southeast Asian Games, which will be hosted by Laos in 2009, will be run on time, according to the Minister to the Prime Minister's Office and the President of the Lao National Sports Committee, Dr Phouthong Seng-akhom.

Reporters were surprised when Dr Phouthong told the media that Laos promised to host the next SEA Games in 2009 on time and without delay. But Laos will have to drop some events from the schedule of competition due to the inexperience of athletes and organisers at this level of competition.

Laos will only hold 25 events compared to the 43 at this year's SEA Games in Nakhon Ratchasima , Thailand . Many Olympic sports including cycling, basketball, gymnastics, hockey and weightlifting are likely to be dropped from the Games in 2009, but there will be no official decision until the time is closer.

The Lao 25 th SEA Games organising committee held a press conference in Nakhon Ratchasima on December 14, prior to the closing ceremony of this year's SEA Games and the official confirmation of the 2009 SEA Games in Vientiane .

The press conference was attended by reporters from international media organisations and all were focused on the next SEA Games and Lao's preparations for 2009.

Dr Phouthong said, “The number of events for the 25 th SEA Games will be 25, but that is not too small when compared with Brunei in 1999, were there were just 23. I think it's really okay, because Laos is a small country too and it will be the first time for us as hosts,”

“At present we have Chinese and Vietnamese assistance in building a sports complex and training centre and other facilities to use for 2009. So, I can assure you that everything will be completed on time,” he said.

“However,during the countdown to the Games, we are not just working hard to prepare facilities for competition, the athlete's development is also equally important for us,” he added.

In this year's SEA Games Laos finished 8 th in the final medal tally out of the 11 nations competing, with 5 gold, 7 silver and 32 bronze medals.

But the 2009 SEA Games will give Laos an improved ranking and medal count than in previous games.

By Sisay Vilaysack

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