It must be known that SEA Games (according to Myanmar's Ministry of Sports website) has its objectives: (1) To improve the friendship among SEAP Countries (SEA nations); and (2) To compete with higher level in Asian and Olympic Games using their skills and performance to youth in the region. So let's see if these objectives are met with the sports included in 2013 SEA Games.
Aquatics (Diving, Swimming and Men's Water Polo), Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Basketball, Billiards & Snooker, Boxing, Canoe, Cycling (no track events), Equestrian, Football including Futsal, Golf, Hockey, Judo, Karate, Rowing, Sailing, Sepaktakraw including Tradional Chinelone, Shooting, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Volleyball (Indoor), Weightlifting, Wrestling, Wushu, Bodybuilding, Chess, Kempo, Muay, Pencak Silat, Petanque, Traditional Boat Race, Vovinam.
Looking at the lists of sports included in the biennial meet this coming December, 21 are Olympic sports and the remaining 12 are regular SEA Games and traditional sports.
But before these sports were finalized for the 27th SEA Games, there were speculations regarding the sport events Myanmar has set. In the initial lists, five Olympic sports were excluded - Badminton, Hockey, Table tennis, Tennis and Gymnastics. Myanmar also included Bodybuilding (a sport-like beauty pageant) and Chinlone (a traditional Burmese game that mixes dancelike acrobatic movements). Both sports will contribute a total of 13 gold medals (5 for bodybuilding & 8 for Chinlone). Myanmar excels in these two sports. Note that in these sports, competitors are scored in a manner like gymnastics or diving.
For the information of all, badminton and table tennis which were planned to scrap by the SEA organizers are the sports that gave Southeast Asian nations medals in the 2012 London Olympics.
But after the meeting last 29th of January, badminton, table tennis, water polo (men) and hockey are reinstated and now official sports to be contested in the 27th SEA Games. The inclusion of badminton is good news for Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. These countries always find themselves in the finals in badminton. While Singapore may continue its supremacy in table tennis and water polo.
Tennis, gymnastics and beach volleyball. Why still not included?
According to reports, tennis is not included because of lack of tennis courts. Gymnastics on the other hand requires a lot of apparatus and equipment which Myanmar lacks. Beach volleyball is not allowed due to athletes dress not being suitable for Myanmar women. This same reason goes to dance sports too. (Not good reasons)
So who is affected with these exclusions?
Thailand and the Philippines are teams who dominate tennis and dance sports. Indonesia also in tennis. And the biggest loser is Vietnam because of the omission of gymnastics. Vietnam will lost more than 10 gold medals.
Myanmar being the host in this edition has the right to select a certain number of sports which they determine to be in the national interest and also an advantage for them, however certain sports such as athletics and aquatics are compulsory.
This is just the start and we are counting 10 more months to begin the 27th SEA Games that will be held on the 11th - 22nd of December. The remaining days will include the preparation of athletes for the games.
Now, do you think the objectives were met? Or is it Myanmar's objective that is met?