SINGAPORE - Archery, golf and sepak takraw received a boost yesterday as the organisers of the 28th South-east Asia (SEA) Games finalised the list of events for the region's biggest multi-sport joust in Singapore next year.
The three sports saw their respective number of events at the 2015 SEA Games doubled.
Archery and sepak takraw will offer 10 events each, while four gold medals will be up for grabs in golf.
The SEA Games Federation Council met yesterday at the Raffles City Convention Centre and finalised the 36 sports and 402 events for 2015.
Singapore will host the Games for the first time since 1993 and it will coincide with the Republic's 50th year of independence, which will add extra significance to the event.
The Games will be held from June 5 to 16, and the Singapore Sports Hub will be the centrepiece of the event.
Despite intense lobbying by the likes of karate and weightlifting, the organisers maintained the number of sports at 36, but increased the number of events from 381 to 402.
Events were also added in badminton, pencak silat, petanque, squash and tennis.
Chairman of the Games executive committee, Tan Eng Liang, said: "We did discuss including one or two more sports because the appeals were very strong for more than 36.
"Unfortunately the main reason... is that we don't want to go over budget."
Added Chris Chan, chairman of the Games sports and rules committee: "We have reached the brim, otherwise we will include 37 or 38 (sports)."
Tan, who is also a vice president at the Singapore National Olympic Council, revealed that 15 sports had lobbied the local organisers after the list of 30 were released at a meeting during the SEA Games in Myanmar last December.
Some, like karate and weightlifting, even offered to sponsor the cost and equipment needed for the Games.
Using an 11-point selection criteria, six more sports were recommended to be included in January - boxing, equestrian, floorball, petanque, rowing and volleyball - and were eventually given the nod.
The criteria included the potential for Singapore to win medals, interest among spectators and the capability of the local national sports association to organise the competition.
In comparison, there were 29 sports when the Republic last hosted the biennial Games in 1993, while the Myanmar Games last year featured 37 sports and 460 events.
Of the sports in next year's Games, Chan said: "Out of 36, 34 are Asian Games sports while 24 are also Olympic Games sports. Only two - floorball and netball - are not in these two Games.
"Floorball is not a Singapore martial art, by the way," Chan added, referencing the tendency of countries to include their own traditional martial arts such as vovinam and kempo when they host the Games.
This article was published on April 30 in The New Paper.
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