JAKARTA: After the overblown madness of the Indonesia SEA Games, Myanmar intend to return a degree of sanity and sobriety to the biennial meet when they play hosts in 2013.
The 27th edition will be held in Naypyidaw, the new capital of Myanmar. This will be the third time that Myanmar, then known as Burma, will be staging the Games after the 1961 and 1969 editions in Yangon (Rangoon).
Myanmar chef-de-mission Ohn Myint Oo said they were looking forward to hosting the Games in the modern era for the first time.
He said the Games, to be held in Naypyidaw and Yangon, would see 30 sports plus an exhibition sport called “chinlone”, which is similar to “sepakraga bulatan”. Indonesia staged a heavily bloated Games with 43 sports offering 542 gold medals.
“Work is in progress to make the meet a success. There are new infrastructures taking shape in Naypyidaw, with a 30,000-seater stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies, while most of the venues in Yangon are being renovated and given a facelift,” Myint Oo said yesterday.
Myint Oo, who is also the Myanmar deputy director general of sports, said the Games Village being built in Naypyidaw would be able to accommodate 4,000 athletes.
“Our athletes are also being prepared. We are leaving no stone unturned in our bid to become overall champions in 2013. But, more importantly, we want to finish off in style by winning the football gold at our new Zabyu Thiri Stadium,” said Myint Oo.
Some things, obviously, never change.
“We will ensure that the Games in Myanmar will be run smoothly.
“All our infrastructures and venues will be ready by next year,” said Myint Oo, who had criticised the organisational standards of the Indonesian Games.