Gomez wants modern pentathlon in Vietnam

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    MODERN pentathlon chief Richard Gomez remains keen in lobbying for the inclusion of the Olympic sport in the 2021 Vietnam Southeast Asian Games, and will make a pitch anew when the Southeast Asian Games Federation Council finalizes the SEA Games list of disciplines in its next meeting in November.

    “Yes, I talked about it with our international federation and told them they have to work it out with the Vietnam National Olympic Committee and the National Sports Association of our sport in that country,” said Gomez, who is also the mayor of Ormoc City.

    Modern pentathlon made its SEA Games debut in the 30th edition of the games hosted by the country last December, with Pinoy campaigners bagging two gold, one silver and two bronze medals and finishing runners-up up behind overall titlist Indonesia (4-0-2) in the four-nation competition.

    At least four countries need to participate in a discipline for it to be considered a medal sport in the SEA Games.

    Athletes from the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore saw action in modern pentathlon’s maiden appearance at the SEA Games inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Olongapo City, Zambales.

    The sport is among the disciplines that Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Bambol Tolentino wants to be included in the 31st SEA Games that will be staged in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi in November next year, the others being arnis and obstacle course racing.

    Citing cost-cutting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vietnamese organizers submitted a provisional list of 36 sports for the regional games, which was approved by the SEAG council during its virtual meeting late last month, the Borneo Bulletin reported on its website recently.

    These disciplines are athletics, aquatics (swimming and diving), archery, badminton, basketball, boxing, canoe, cycling (road and mountain bike), dance sport, fencing, football/futsal, golf, gymnastics, handball, volleyball, judo, karate, rowing, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, weightlifting and wrestling, billiards and snooker, chess/xianqi (Chinese chess), muay thai, pencak silat, petanque, sepak takraw, fin swimming, bodybuilding, wushu, kurash, kickboxing and vovinam, the Vietnamese ethnic martial arts.

    The report said the SEA Games Federation Council will also consider the appeals of its 10 other member countries, which are bidding for the inclusion of 22 other sports, when the calendar of disciplines is finalized in November.

    Vietnam first hosted the regional games in 2003 in the cities of Ho Chi Minh, former known as Saigon; and Hanoi, romping with the overall championship with 158 gold, 97 silver and 91 bronze medals.