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Indonesia to reduce number of events for ASEAN Games

03-04-2011 14:34 BJT

JAKARTA, March 4 (Xinhua) -- The number of events for the Southeast Asian Games to be held in November in Indonesia, currently 545 in 42 sports, will be reduced, according to an official at the local organizing committee.

"The number is not final and it will definitely be reduced automatically because of the four-country quota. An event with less than four participants will be dropped," said Abdul Rauf, secretary at the Indonesian Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASOC).

"If four athletes are listed in an event and one of them fails to come during the competition, the organizers cannot continue the match," he added.

Despite the controversy, organizers claimed preparations for the Games in host cities Palembang and Jakarta were in full swing.

"We are still confident that Palembang will finish its ongoing venue projects as scheduled," said Abdul.

Widespread concerns have emerged over Palembang's ability to host the Games as three venues and the athletes' village were still under construction seven months prior to the event.

"I believe Palembang will be able to do it. It won't take much time to build a four-story building for the athletes' village," Abdul said.

In Jakarta, organizers said they would use hotels for the athletes' village.

"We will provide the athletes with a decent place to live during the Games. Maybe it won't be something fancy, like a five-star hotel room, but it will be suitable," Abdul was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying.

Representatives of the 11 participating countries are scheduled to visit Palembang in July to inspect progress on the venues.

Indonesian Underwater Sports Association (POSSI) director Merari Nainggolan said that his divers were currently undergoing physical training in preparation for the Games.

"We will send about 16 athletes to the world championships in Germany and Spain in May to pick the best ones for the SEA Games because we are eying five gold medals in the Palembang event," said the team manager, adding that Indonesia has hired Tang Lei, a trainer from China.

Indonesia is ranked second in fin swimming after Vietnam, he added. "In the last SEA Games Vietnam bagged eight gold medals while we got three. We are confident to reach the target of five golds," Merari said.

Indonesia will host the 26th SEA Games in Palembang and Jakarta from Nov. 11-22.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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