SEA games: Doom to boom

SEA games: Doom to boom

What is the measure of success at the South-east Asia (SEA) Games?

For the majority, quite obviously, it is the country's position on the final medal tally.

But seriously, if you add gold medals from sports such as chinloin, gasing and arnis that boost your final tally, are we being realistic about such success?

I remember watching Indonesia boosting their gold tally by 20 after making a clean sweep in wrestling at the 1979 Games in Jakarta.

Some may look at mere Olympic sports, counting finishes at compulsory sports such as athletics and swimming, and the more popular ones such as football, table tennis, badminton, diving, shooting, boxing and basketball.

Well, countries have a good reason to cheer if their athletes in these sports provide the bulk of their gold medals.

Then there are others, for whom the football gold means everything.

Because the universal game kicks off before the official start of many Games and usually ends on the penultimate day of competition.

But for me, what counts best is any performance where the athlete bounces back from true adversity.

And, to a lesser extent, those that leave an indelible mark on the Games.

On that count, I salute the performances of Dinah Chan, equestrian rider Janine Khoo, rower Saiyidah Aishah, shooter Nicole Tan, archer Chan Jing Rui, swimmer Amanda Lim, marathon runner Mok Ying Ren, silat exponent Alfian Juma'en, billiards player Peter Gilchrist and judoka Ho Han Boon.

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