SEA Games: Singapore athletes unfazed as Typhoon Kammuri delays flights, reschedules races

Asia World

MANILA: It was just as well that marathoner Gordon Lim’s bags were not packed, because he will not be arriving in the Philippines on schedule after his flight was retimed due to Typhoon Kammuri.

One of the athletes originally slated to touch down in Manila on Tuesday (Dec 3), Lim will now arrive on Wednesday. His race is scheduled for Friday.

But Lim is not too concerned about these unforeseen changes.

“I’m okay with it,” he said. “Actually, I’m quite happy they delayed it. I now have more time to pack and spend with my family.

“I guess the only thing that changed was that we might miss the marathon briefing that was scheduled to happen on Wednesday morning. I’m not sure if the organisers will change the briefing timing to accommodate to our change of flights.”

READ: Manila’s international airport to suspend operations due to typhoon

With Typhoon Kammuri set to hit the island of Luzon on Tuesday, Manila’s international airport has suspended operations from 11am to 11pm on Tuesday.  

In other parts of the Philippines, the impending storm has also caused mass evacuations.

Organisers announced on Monday that changes had been made to the competition schedule for at least eight different sports at the Subic cluster of the 30th SEA Games. 

In a press release issued on Monday evening, Games organisation committee PHISGOC said that these changes were due to “weather conditions”.

READ: SEA Games: At least 8 sports affected as Typhoon Kammuri churns towards Luzon

One of the sports that was affected is sailing. Four of team Singapore’s sailors were originally slated to compete on Monday, but had their races called off.

However, preparations were not “overly affected” by the changes, said sailing team manager Terence Koh.

“The sailors whose schedules are affected are aware that their racing will be extended too, but preparations have not been overly affected as the work was done prior to coming to Philippines,” Koh told CNA. 

“The event that is affected the most would be the keelboat event as none of the countries have been able to practice on the supplied boats due to the incoming typhoon. Thankfully the keelboat team had a training camp in China prior to arriving and have spent a good amount of time on the boat.”

One of those slated to compete on Monday was sailor Victoria Chan, who had her women’s laser radial race called off.

“Being a sport that is dependent on external environment, delays in scheduled racing times are not uncommon in sailing and we as sailors are used to this,” she said. “As athletes, we are always prepared for the competition and try to focus on internal factors that we can control to keep out the distractions.”

The mood in the camp remains good added Koh.

“Postponements are actually very common in sailing as we are subject to weather changes all the time,” he said. 

“This is not new to the sailors, although the reason for postponement is a first for most!”

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