Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) vice president Wei Jizhong said that the Philippines, host of the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG), can hold bigger sporting events.
Wei praised the host country’s way of managing the biennial meet, starting with the slogan, traffic concerns and handling of accommodation and food problems to the grand opening ceremony at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
“This means that the Philippines is capable to organize bigger-scale games,” said Wei during a press conference together with Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chairman Abraham Tolentino and Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) chief operating officer Ramon Suzara on Monday at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
Wei did not delve into specifics on what larger event the Philippines could host next, but PHISGOC chairman Alan Cayetano already expressed last year that they want to bid for the 2030 Asian Games.
Wei said that glitches are normal in hosting international sporting events and was surprised to find out that President Rodrigo Duterte and Cayetano, who also serves as House Speaker, issued apologies to the delegates who encountered hotel and food woes.
“To have some problems at the beginning of the Games, in all the games including the Asian Games, it happens,” he said.
“The apology of the president and the speaker of the parliament, it’s a first time. It means the high authority of the country is very keen to provide the participants the very best conditions,” he added.
Wei said that traffic was not a problem in Manila, at least from his experience.
The high-ranking official from OCA also had nothing but sweet words for the opening ceremony that unfolded right before his eyes.
“In the opening ceremony, we witnessed the enthusiasm of all the athletes. You allowed all of them to walk in because in other Games, they put a limit. The parade is an honor for the athletes.”
Wei said that all the efforts put in by the country in hosting the SEAG are being noticed by OCA.
“I cannot give a general evaluation but all these details mean something to us. All the media can give their interpretation but the reality is there.”