World Tour on the Track of Yeosu: The South-East Asian delegations
Stage #6 – In search of the other participants of the SEA Games: Thais, Malaysians, Vietnamese and other nations of South East Asia…
The skating competition will take place in Jakabarin Sport Complex, in Palembang. Is it a sign for a future access of the discipline in the Olympic Games? This remains to be seen. We saw through the two last episodes of our “Trip around the world” that the SEA Games were the priority of the season, for the host country and for Singapore in particular. What about the other nations invited to take part in these Games? Were they in Yeosu? Are the SEA Games a priority for these delegations too?
Eleven nations can take part in these South-East Asian Games: Indonesia of course, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Oriental Timor and Brunei Sultanate.
Skating in South-East Asia and nations present at the 2011 World Championships
Amongst these eleven nations, only Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand were in the official program of the Korean organization. Two articles have already been devoted to the two first countries but none for the two last: here are the reasons why.
Just like for the Thai delegation, there was only one Malaysian, Chen Chee Siang, on the official list of participants at the Yeosu world championships. And unlike the Thai, he didn’t show up on the starting line. Anyone could think that he didn’t even make the trip. Here again, it’s surprising – or let’s say half-surprising – to progressively realize how important the SEA Games are for these nations. Malaysia is ranked 4th at the South-East Ranking, and there is no doubt that the best athletes of the delegation will fight in Indonesia to try to scrape places at the ranking. Their absence in Yeosu can be explained both by a lack of financial means and by the relegation of the world championships to a lesser objective, compared to the South-East Asian Games – just like Thailand, in the end.
Concerning Vietnam, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Oriental Timor and Brunei Sultanate
None of these nations were in Yeosu. And none of them is known to be a great nation in skating. However, the Indonesians we met in Yeosu maintained that Vietnam was the 5th nation at the South-East Asia Ranking. As for the others, you’ll have to keep an eye on the results of the races which will take place in November to get an idea of their levels…
Maybe we’ll have the pleasure to meet them in Italy next year. In 2012 the World Championships could be on top of their priority list… because in 2012 there won’t be the SEA Games!
The introduction of skating in the SEA Games is at the heart of a debate
As a conclusion, and before getting too enthusiastic about the introduction of skating in the program of the South East Asian Games, let’s note that not every participating country agree on it: just like for the introductions of parachuting, climbing or vovinam (a Vietnamese martial art), that of skating has been contested by some countries, considering that these sports were unpopular. Some sports have even been removed from the program (female football, table tennis and petanque amongst others), which was the object of numerous criticisms. Indonesia was reproached for having selected sports according to the potential chances of medals. Fair enough!
Let’s allow us to dream a bit more: little by little, by keeping on interfering in the programs of international games, skating might have its own Olympic champions one day!
About the logo and mascots
The Mascots: Modo and Modi are a couple of Komodo dragons. They wear traditional Indonesian clothes and they are the official mascots of the 26th SEA Games.
The Official Logo: It represents the Garuda, a mythical bird which is none other than the symbol of Indonesia. The Garuda has a human body and a vulture head. It’s got powerful wings and claws.
Presentation of the SEA Games on Wikipedia
Episode 10: World Tour on the Track of Yeosu: Welcome to Australia!
Episode 09: World Tour on the Track of Yeosu: The Argentinian Delegation
Episode 08: World Tour on the track of Yeosu: Welcome to Chile!
Episode 07: World Tour on the Track of Yeosu: Venezuela
Episode 06: World Tour on the Track of Yeosu: The South-East Asian delegations
Episode 05: World Tour on the track of Yeosu: The Singaporean Delegation
Episode 04: World Tour on the Trach of Yeosu: The delegation of Indonesia
Episode 03: World Tour on the Track of Yeosu: The South-African delegation
Episode 02: World Tour on the Trach of Yeosu: The Pakistani delegation
Episode 01: World Tour on the Yeosu track: the Indian delegation
By Léa Réguer-Petit
Translated by Close Yr E’s