A bronze medal can still be awarded even if there are only three countries entered in an event.
This new ruling was made known following a Southeast Asian Games Federation Council meeting yesterday in Clark Field, Pampanga.
SEA Games Executive Committee Chairman Celso Dayrit said this new rule was done upon the initiative of SEA Games Federation and Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.
“The current rule is, if for instance in boxing, only 3 countries are entered in a certain weight category, only a gold and a silver medal are to be awarded. The third placer gets nothing,” said Dayrit.
Tolentino said that the Games are supposed to be “about the athletes.”
“So why penalize an athlete who sacrifices, trains and participates, places third and is deprived of a medal because other countries withdrew at the last minute? That’s not his fault,” said Tolentino.
The exemption from the current rule was sponsored by Prof. Charoen Watanasim of Thailand and got approved unanimously.