More events in 2017 SEA Games a boost for Singapore

The Singapore contingent led by flag-bearer, hurdler Dipna Lim-Prasad, and chef de mission Annabel Pennefather marching past the grandstand at the opening ceremony of the 27th SEA Games.
The Singapore contingent led by flag-bearer, hurdler Dipna Lim-Prasad, and chef de mission Annabel Pennefather marching past the grandstand at the opening ceremony of the 27th SEA Games. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) has tabled a final list of events for next year's SEA Games to the local organising committee, and it is one which will sit well with Team Singapore.

The Straits Times understands that this updated list, comprising 38 sports and 403 events, took into account appeals from member nations after the previous list of 34 sports and 342 events was released in February. Last year's SEA Games in Singapore featured 402 events across 36 sports.

The eight swimming sprint events on the Singapore National Olympic Council's (SNOC) appeal list made the cut, as did fencing, triathlon and the marathon (athletics).

Last year, Singapore's swimmers swept seven of the eight 50m races and the fencers notched three golds. Singaporeans have also won the last two men's marathons.

The OCM also added women's water polo and three table tennis doubles events.

However, Singapore's canoeists, who pulled in seven golds at Marina Bay last year, as well as the Republic's floorball men's and women's champions, will sit out next year's Kuala Lumpur Games.

The list will be reviewed by the SEA Games Federation Council at a meeting next week but a source said it is close to the final list.

It is believed the marathon could be held alongside a local event, possibly the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur race, as organisers seek to cut the costs of an event that a source said could carry a price tag of RM500,000 (S$168,000).

The 2013 and 2014 Kuala Lumpur races were held in September and October. Last year's edition was cancelled due to the haze.

SNOC secretary-general Chris Chan said: "Overall, aside from canoeing, we are happy with this list and I don't think we will be submitting any more appeals."

Singapore swimmer Amanda Lim, who won the last four 50m freestyle races, lowering the Games record each time, was pleased when told of the inclusion.

She said: "To other people it might just be an event, but to me, it holds a lot of special meaning and each year that I win it, it gets more and more sentimental.

"The competition gets harder each time and that just means that I have to work harder to get there."

Singapore Canoe Federation (SCF) vice-president Francis Ng said the SCF would withhold comment until the list is official.

Next year's Games will be held from Aug 19-31.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 05, 2016, with the headline 'More events for SEA Games a boost for S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe