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SBD Global/March 1, 2013/Events and Attractions

Southeast Asian Games Host Myanmar Criticized For Organization Of SEA Games

Mention the words "kempo", "vovinam" or "chinlone" and "expect an angry response from Southeast Asia's seething sports bosses," according to Martin Petty of REUTERS. The terms are "indigenous sports disciplines" and for the few countries that play them, they will offer an unusual amount of medals at this year's Southeast Asian Games, "at the expense of gymnasts, tennis and beach volleyball players bitter their sports were ditched by hosts Myanmar." Myanmar is billing the December Games as its coming out party after 49 years of military rule, but "dampening celebrations is fierce criticism from competitors who accuse the hosts of cherry-picking sports it plays best." Meetings of the 11 competing countries have been "fraught with arguments," with deep suspicions that Myanmar has "struck deals with certain states and sought to weaken the hand of stronger nations to boost its normally mediocre standing in the medals table" (REUTERS, 2/28)
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