Myanmar drops SEA Games sports

Myanmar has dropped popular Olympic sports from the SEA Games in December, and hopes to pack the competition with less well-known sports where its athletes are likely to win medals.

  • Published: 28/01/2013 at 10:05 AM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

The Games, to be held in Nay Pyi Daw and other locations, will not have table tennis, tennis, gymnastics or badminton.

Instead, Myanmar sports authorities have put 14 "traditional sports" on the schedule for December, eight of which are played almost exclusively in Myanmar.

One is chinlone, which a newspaper described as a mix of "dance-like acrobatics mixed with soccer juggling skills".

Tennis and table tennis have been sports at every SEA Games since the first competition in 1959. Dropping gymnastics and badminton is just as controversial.

"These games are supposed to bring unity, but they are causing divisions instead," said Gen Yuthasak Sasiprapha, president of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand, in a report by Singapore's AsiaOne on Monday.

The report quoted Singapore Olympic officials as saying the final list of SEA Games sports is not yet final, and could be changed in upcoming talks.

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