PHISGOC: We need to finish all SEA Games events by December 11
Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee COO Ramon Suzara answers questions during a press conference in Pasay City yesterday.
Ernie Peñaredondo
PHISGOC: We need to finish all SEA Games events by December 11
Franco Luna ( - December 3, 2019 - 5:12pm

MANILA, Philippines — Regardless of the weather conditions caused by Typhoon Tisoy, all SEA Games events would have to be completed by noon of December 11 to make way for the scheduled closing ceremony later that evening, an official of the organizing committee said Tuesday. 

"Hopefully these adjustments won't affect their performance, but again, it's out of our control. [And] we must finish at December 11 if necessary," Ramon Suzara, Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) chief operating officer, told reporters at a press briefing. 

He also said the athletes would not be forfeited as a result of the weather conditions.

"The technical delegates are aware of these weather conditions. We do not forfeit unless there is a delay on the transportation, but we make sure that the athletes arrive on time, it's part of our role as organizers and the role of the participating team," he said.  

"We make sure that there should be no forfeit."

Internationally named Typhoon Kammuri, "Tisoy" pounded the Philippines on Tuesday morning and prompted the closure of four terminals in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. 

Suzara said the "big bulk" of potentially stranded athletes were from Indonesia, as they were slated to depart by 9 p.m. on Tuesday night. According to him, the accommodations department of PHISGOC were ready to have the delegations stay for another night if the need arose. 

Foreign sports reporters also expressed concern over the evening's football matches at the Rizal Memorial Stadium which were likely affected by the heavy rains. Suzara, however, said that contingencies were in place for these, as well as for departing and arriving athletes. 

"We need to evaluate if it's safe to play. We'll have to apologize that the athletes will have to wait for two to three hours, [but] the technical delegate must decide as soon as possible," Suzara said.

"At the moment, [according to] the competition manager, it's still okay."

He assured the public that the technical delegates were well aware of the scheduling and format adjustments they were making amid the inclement weather caused by Typhoon Tisoy. However, he said that the priority was to give the athletes six hours of rest in between matches and trainings. 

Suzara also cited the Olympic Games once had to hold games at midnight as well, and that such adjustments were perfectly reasonable to make. 

As a result of the weather, events under the windsurfing competition had to be halted as a precaution. The triathlon events, too, were held earlier than initially scheduled.

Meanwhile, "Tisoy" continues to move westward after significantly weakening its winds which are now down to 140 kilometres per hour, along with maximum gusts of 195 kph.

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