Preparations for the 32nd Southeast Asian Games are going full blast as organizers were given stamp of approval by the heads of delegation of 11 participating countries during the 1st Chef de Mission Meeting on Wednesday at the Garden City Hotel in Phnom Penh.
Chaired by National Olympic Committee of Cambodia secretary general Vath Chamroeun, the chiefs of mission were given a walkthrough on the preparations of the Cambodia SEA Games Organizing Committee for the prestigious biennial meet set from 5 to 17 May.
The gathering started with discussions related to accommodation, food, transportation, protocol, doping, and other matters related to the event.
Among those who were in attendance were delegates from the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Brunei and Singapore.
Shortly after the meeting, they graced the 100-day countdown celebration at the nearby Morodok Techo National Stadium, the 60,000-seater facility that will serve as the main hub of the Games.
The gathering concluded on Thursday, but the chiefs of mission will tour other venues like the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Pengh and related facilities in Sihanoukville before leaving on Friday.
Chito Loyzaga, the president of the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association, represented the Philippines, which will be sending more than 800 athletes in Cambodia’s first ever staging of the SEA Games.
“We were able to provide the other countries with important information regarding accommodation, food, healthcare for athletes and related matters,” Chamroeun told Khmer Times in an online article.
“We had nice, thorough and comprehensive discussions. The first day was a success for all of us.”
There were earlier reports that the Covid-19 pandemic will hamper Cambodia’s preparations, similar to what happened in 2021 when Vietnam was forced to postpone the Games after most of its sports facilities were converted into hospitals.
But Chamroeun asserted that everything is under control.
“All expert and technical committees are ready for the SEA Games,” he said, referring to the 14 technical working committees under the Cambodian SEA Games Organizing Committee, including Transportation Committee, Media and Broadcasting Committee, Food Committee, Women and Sports Committee, Outreach and Information Committee and Medical and Sports Science Committee.
“During the meeting, the foreign delegations also asked some questions regarding our preparations and gave their own suggestions.”