by AFP/ pic by AFP
CLARK – Powerful Typhoon Kammuri forced organisers of the Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines to reschedule about half of the events set for Tuesday, but they pledged the competition would finish on time.
The storm, which made landfall late Monday, wrought particular havoc on water-based and outdoor events, causing approximately 16 of them to be postponed.
However, roughly 17 other competitions – primarily indoor ones – were supposed to go ahead as planned, a statement from the organisers said.
“It’s not safe to play and we apologise,” Ramon Suzara, the organising committee’s chief operating officer, told a news conference, announcing the rescheduling.
Kammuri brought high winds and heavy rains across the northern Philippines, but did not directly hit the region around the capital Manila, which is home to the three main event hubs.
The storm’s potent gusts also forced officials to close Manila’s international airport as a precaution, which will delay several basketball teams for the 5 x 5 competition that starts on Wednesday.
Organisers stressed that the Games, which opened Saturday, won’t “go beyond its scheduled finish on December 11”.
“We are prepared to take the necessary precautionary measures to secure the safety of all of our guests and athletes,” their statement added.
Several sports were postponed at one of the main SEA Games clusters in Subic, including beach volleyball, canoe and kayaking, muay, pencak silat, sailing, windsurfing, modern pentathlon, surfing and sepak takraw.
Triathlon and duathlon events in Subic – on the west coast of the main island of Luzon in the country’s north – had already been brought forward.
All sports at the Manila cluster except for shooting went ahead as planned, while petanque at the main cluster in Clark was postponed.
Underwater hockey, skateboarding and polo, due to be held in southern Luzon, were also halted.
Organisers said they also cancelled a scheduled training for esports Tuesday.
This year’s SEA Games in Clark, Manila and Subic, which started officially on December 1, are particularly complex with a record 56 sports across dozens of venues.
Around 8,750 athletes and team officials are expected at this year’s 30th edition with another 12,000 volunteers.