President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday wished the athletes luck in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games that will be hosted by the Philippines from November 30 to December 11.
“I wish them all the luck and my fervent prayers goes with it,” the President said in a media interview in Davao City.
The opening rites of the biennial regional multi-sport event will be held at the 50,000-seat Philippine Sports Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
An estimated 8,750 athletes from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste, Singapore, and Vietnam will compete in 530 events in 56 sports.
The sports competitions will take place at the newly-build New Clark City Sports Hub in Capas, Tarlac; Subic, Zambales; Laguna, Batangas, Tagaytay, Imus, and Metro Manila particularly at the newly-renovated Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
The Philippines will field 1,085 athletes, hoping to improve its dismal sixth place performance in the last 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.
A total of 19,767 police officers and government personnel will be deployed to ensure the country’s smooth hosting of the prestigious sports event.
It is the fourth time the Philippines will host the SEA Games.
The country won its first-ever SEA Games overall championship in 2005, the last time it hosted the regional sportsfest.
The Philippines also hosted the 1981 and 1991 editions of the SEA Games.
Meanwhile, Team Philippines deputy chef de mission Stephen Fernandez, said that all athletes who will represent the country in the SEAG are ready for the meet.
“Our athletes and coaches we have spoken to said they're ready already," Fernandez said in an interview over Radyo Pilipinas 2.
"They're very optimistic that in this game, they will do well," Fernandez said.*PNA
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