SEA Games events postponed due to typhoon

MANILA, 3 Dec 2019:

At least 11 sports events had to be postponed following reports that typhoon Kammuri had hit several areas in the Philippines.

The matter was confirmed by Deputy Chef de Mission to the 30th SEA Games Ahmad Faedzal Md Ramli, who said the postponement of the events was made following the advice of the Philippines’ authorities on the route of typhoon Kammuri.

He said the delay was still under control and the Philippine Sea Games Organising Committee (PHISGOC) also gave its assurance the delayed sports events would be completed before the official closing ceremony on Dec 11.

“For the South Luzon and La Union (Solu) clusters, skateboarding, underwater hockey and polo were temporarily suspended. For the Clark cluster, the petanque event was postponed.

“As for the cluster in Subic, sepak takraw, canoe, kayak, traditional boat race, muay thai and wind surfing are temporarily suspended until further notice.”

The postponement of the sporting event in Metro Manila only involved one shooting event, the “benchrest”.

On the fate of the national contingent – which was stranded at the airports either coming to the Philippines or returning to Malaysia, Ahmad Faedzal said he had a contingency plan to deal with the situation.

“We have been in contact with Malaysia Airlines to ensure that tomorrow, all flights are operational. I was informed that Malaysia Airlines may provide a bigger aircraft to accommodate our athletes or make additional flights.

“The same goes for the return flights. For example, the netball team should have already gone home but we made a little change to look after their welfare and will only allow them to return home once everything is safe.”

Athletes who have yet to leave for Manila were from diving, athletics, rhythmic gymnastics and e-sports.

Apart from the netball team, athletes waiting to return home were the women’s football team, triathletes and the cycling teams.

Many of the 30th SEA Games competitions involving indoor venues here, are proceeding smoothly as of this afternoon today, despite the postponements of some events involving outdoor venues due to typhoon Kammuri.

As forecast by the weather forecast agency, heavy rains and strong winds had hit the city of Metro Manila since early this morning and were expected to continue late into the night and could cause floods and landslides.

It was smooth going for sports like shooting, wushu, badminton and bowling in Manila, though locals had reduced their outdoor activities as a precautionary measure to face the typhoon known as Tisoy in the country.

However, the tennis event at the Tennis Centre, Rizal Memorial Sports Complex had to be postponed due to heavy rains.

The PHISGOC had also set up tents in front of all the competition venues since late last night to prevent any untoward incident.

Yesterday, PHISGOC postponed several sports such as beach volleyball, canoe/kayak, Muay Thai, silat, pentathlon and wind surfing, scheduled around Clark and Subic today, to a new date.

PHISGOC chief operating officer Ramon Suzara said technical officials already had a contingency plan to address the typhoon-related problems, including changing the competition venues, but stressed the Games would not be extended beyond the closing date on Dec 11.

According to news reports yesterday, at least one person was killed while thousands of Filipinos were evacuated and operations at Ninoy Aquino International Airport here were suspended when typhoon Kammuri, the 20th typhoon to hit the country, approached closer to the main island of Luzon.

There has been no report of any Malaysians affected by the typhoon Kammuri in the Philippines, which made a land fall in several areas today, said Wisma Putra.

In anticipation of devastation that could be caused by the typhoon, Malaysians visiting or living in the affected areas are advised to give utmost cautious to their security and safety, as well as follow instructions from local authorities, it said in a statement.

The typhoon is expected to exit the landmass of Luzon on Thursday (Dec 5). The areas most affected by the typhoon are the Visayas and Luzon.

Wisma Putra said Malaysians requiring consular assistance can contact the Malaysian Embassy in Manila at 107, Tordesillas Street Salcedo Village Makati City 1227 Philippines, contact +63 2 662 8200, +63 917 864 0761 (after working hours) or e-mail at [email protected]

– Bernama