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SEA Games extension unlikely amid ‘Tisoy’ threat

MANILA -- The Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) on Monday said there is no need to extend the ongoing 30th SEA Games as contingency plans are in place for the sports events to be affected by Typhoon Tisoy.


Phisgoc chief operating officer Tats Suzara said stretching the SEA Games’ schedule beyond Dec. 11 would be costly for the foreign participants who have already scheduled flights going back to their respective countries.


“There's no extension. There's always a solution by the technical delegates and to talk to all the participating teams on the possible realignment of the competition format," he said in a press conference at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.


According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Tisoy is expected to bring occasional heavy rains in Metro Manila and Central Luzon where majority of the SEA Games competitions are being held since Sunday.


The weather bureau expects Tisoy to make landfall over Catanduanes, Albay, or Sorsogon, between Monday night and Tuesday morning.


Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 2 is raised over Metro Manila, Pampanga and other areas in Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Mimaropa.


Suzara said the sports venue managers, particularly of the outdoor events, have already prepared contingency measures.


"If it's really strong, we have to cancel the matches or postpone or delay. But anyway, everything has been placed," he said.


He said suppliers of the venues, particularly outdoor sports, have been instructed to put down tents and advertisements in advance.


"Contingency plans have been in place a long time ago. There's an operating policy for all competition and venue managers, including technical delegates in case there are typhoons, cancellations and delays," Suzara said.


Meanwhile, Canoe kayak's competition manager decided to reschedule the games originally scheduled on December 3 to December 6-8 due to the approaching typhoon.


"We really need to reschedule the games kasi nga po medyo malakas 'yung bagyo and may typhoon signal warning na po tayo so automatic po kasi kapag may signal na kailangan talaga i-postpone muna ang games (because the typhoon is slightly strong and we have also typhoon signal. So it’s automatic that we have to postpone the games)," said Perez who added that they decided to postpone the events for the safety and welfare of the athletes.


SEA Games Subic Cluster Chairman Ramon Agregado was the first to announced on Sunday the postponement of windsurfing due to Tisoy.


“It will be moved to a date when weather will be clear of typhoon,” he said. There is no decision yet on whether sailing competitions will also be rescheduled.


Windsurfing was originally scheduled at the Lighthouse Jetty Area and Subic Bay Yacht Club, respectively from November 28 to December 9.


That original timeframe included practices, weighing and measuring of equipment, and competition proper. Depending on the effects of Tisoy, the two events may have to be postponed to December 5.

“We are anticipating December 5 as the start of the official competition,” said venue manager Julious Macam.


Other outdoor sports expected to be affected by typhoon are beach volley, shooting, surfing, obstacle course race, polo, golf, softball, baseball, petangue, lawn bowl, and beach handball. (PNA)

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