Many events of the 31st Southeast Asian Games will now be held in Hanoi.
Organizers discussed this with member nations including the Philippines following a recent online meeting, where they also released health and safety guidelines that bear similarities to what was done in the Tokyo Olympics.
Vietnamese authorities, who earlier planned to spread events in many provinces, made the decision to add more events in Hanoi instead after the country recorded its first community cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19.
So far, 21 events will be done in Hanoi when the games are held from May 12 to 23 this year.
There will be 11 others that will be staged within the 100- kilometer radius of Hanoi, while seven will be done in Quang Ninh, which is 194 kms away.
Another two will be done in Haiphong, which is 118 kms away from the capital.
The biennial meet will involve 11 neighboring localities, featuring 40 sports with 526 events and 10,000 participants.
Among the events that will be done in Hanoi are kurash, gymnastics, taekwondo, basketball, billiards, sepak takraw, bowling, esports, vovinam, jiujitsu, wrestling, dancesports, athletics and swimming.
Also listed are weightlifting, archery, bodybuilding, fencing, judo, pencak silat and wushu.
The Philippine national delegation’s chef de mission and Philippine Sports Commissioner Ramon Fernandez was updated on the status of the venues that will be utilized in biennial meet.
With rising COVID-19 cases in Vietnam, organizers have presented strict health and safety protocols that need to be followed during the Games.
“There was nothing more important in the meeting than the protocols that they have presented,” said Fernandez.
The Philippines will be sending a 584-athlete and 161-official delegation to the games, with 80 athletes on the appeals’ list.
“We understand the situation because of the budgetary constraints in the PSC, so we have to employ belt-tightening measures as regards to officials and equipment,” said Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Abraham Tolentino.