Juico slams Malaysia SEA Games or­ga­niz­ers

Business Mirror - - SPORTS - Ra­mon Rafael Bonilla

THE head of the na­tional ath­let­ics fed­er­a­tion is dis­mayed over Malaysia’s an­nounce­ment that it would ex­clude eight events from the cen­ter­piece sport when it hosts the 28th South­east Asian (SEA) Games next year.

Philip­pine Am­a­teur Track and Field As­so­ci­a­tion (Patafa) Pres­i­dent Philip Ella Juico as­sailed his Malaysian coun­ter­part for drop­ping eight events from the 2016 pro­gram. In­cluded in the deleted list are de­cathlon, hep­tathlon, marathon, 3,000-me­ter steeple­chase and 10,000 me­ters.

“The an­cient Olympics had its ori­gins in ath­let­ics when the Greeks launched what would later be­come the big­gest spec­ta­cle on tele­vi­sion,” Juico said in a state­ment on Thurs­day. “The main im­pe­tus be­hind the found­ing of mod­ern Olympics was the pro­mo­tion of peace, es­pe­cially among the youth.”

Olympic Coun­cil of Malaysia Pres­i­dent Tan Sri Tunko Imran said they are drop­ping the ath­let­ics events—plus body­build­ing, ca­noe­ing, fenc­ing, judo and triathlon—be­cause their “ath­letes are not even ranked com­pared from the other South­east Asian coun­tries.”

Imran added that their main ob­jec­tive of host­ing the SEA Games “is to be­come the over­all cham­pion.”

Malaysia has ini­tially se­lected 34 sports com­posed of 342 events for next year’s games.

Juico warned that, as vice pres­i­dent of the Asian Ath­let­ics As­so­ci­a­tion (AAA), he sup­ports any move by the AAA to with­draw recog­ni­tion of the ath­let­ics event in Malaysia “should or­ga­niz­ers re­move even one event from the com­pe­ti­tion.”

“We call on the Philip­pine Olympic Com­mit­tee to of­fi­cially re­lay the sen­ti­ments of the Patafa on this is­sue to the au­thor­i­ties con­cerned,” Juico said.

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