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Vietnam SEA Games Postponed To 2022 Due To COVID-19

Vietnam has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases recently with more than 1,000 infections daily.

As the world continues to remain vigilant against COVID-19, countries are being extra careful to open sporting events and large-scale gatherings. And the latest event to be postponed is the 2021 Hanoi Games in Vietnam.

Due to the rising COVID-19 cases in Vietnam, Philippine Olympic President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said that the Southeast Asian Games Federation has decided to postpone the games to next year. Vietnam has 10 days to decide on the new date. (Read: LOOK: Tokyo Unveils COVID-19-Ready Olympic Village)

Unanimous Decision

In a virtual press conference, Tolentino said that the SEA Games Federation unanimously decided not to hold the SEA Games this year due to COVID-19. “There was a spike in cases so the entire federation stated that the SEA Games will not be this 2021,” the Inquirer reports.

Vietnam has seen a rise in cases recently with more than 1,000 infections daily. (Read: 5 Countries That Successfully Flattened the COVID-19 Curve)

Vietnam reported 1,553 Covid-19 infections, including 35 deaths, as of the morning of Jan 28, 2021. (Photo from AFP/The Straits Times)

The Vietnamese government has to discuss when to hold the rescheduled SEA Games. The plausible date, Tolentino said, is early 2022 because the Asian Games is scheduled to take place in September of that year.

“They want to hold the SEA Games for 2022 so they are choosing either March, April, or May,” said Tolentino. “We gave them 10 days to decide so we’re kind of pressuring them to decide.”

Defending the title

Host Philippines officially bags the overall championship after amassing an all-time high 149 golds in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (Photo from Josh Albelda/Rappler)

Meanwhile, the Philippines will be sending 626 athletes to compete in 39 of the 40 sports.

It was previously announced that 560 athletes would be sent to Hanoi but Tolentino said that 66 were added to the list following discussions with officials of the 39 national sports associations.

“After a careful review—with the mindset of defending our overall title—we came up with these numbers,” said Tolentino.

Basketball and volleyball will each have 30 athletes—15 for each gender—cycling has 39, gymnastics at 25, taekwondo has 24, football will have 28, and wushu at 21. (Read: These Pinoy Athletes Will Headline the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics)

The representatives for the other sports are as follows: fencing (24), esports (18), aquatics (17), boxing (13), canoe-kayak (19), pencak silat (16), golf (seven), handball (10), judo (17), jiu-jitsu (six), kickboxing (12), karatedo (15), kurash (10), muaythai (12), table tennis (three), tennis (eight), triathlon (eight), beach volleyball (six), weightlifting (14), wrestling (13), and vovinam (six). 

The only event the Philippines does not have a representative for is petanque. 

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