Juico slams Malaysia SEA Games organizers
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.