SEA Games organizers ready to accommodate stranded athletes due to ‘Tisoy’

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 3) — Organizers of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games said they are prepared to accommodate athletes who will be stranded due to Typhoon Tisoy, which has forced the country’s main gateway to close down Tuesday until 11 p.m.

“Our accommodation department is already in place in case they need to stay for one more night,” Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) chief operating officer Ramon Suzara told reporters Tuesday.

Suzara said a delegation of Indonesian athletes who have competed in triathlon, wushu, cycling and 3x3 basketball are scheduled to leave Tuesday at 9 p.m., but would not be able to depart on time due to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s (NAIA) 12-hour shutdown.

He expects that the Indonesian delegation would be able to leave the country by midnight, once NAIA resumes normal operations.

He added that organizers were expecting basketball teams to arrive tonight, but they may only be able to reach the country Wednesday morning.

Airport officials have warned, however, that the shutdown of NAIA’s four terminals may last beyond 11 p.m., depending on the weather forecast.

Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Ed Monreal said that priority will be given to regularly scheduled flights once the operations resume. He added that for the flights affected by the 12-hour closure, a slotting system will be carried out.

Over 500 international and domestic flights were affected after the announcement.

LIST: Cancelled flights due to Typhoon Tisoy

No extension

Despite adjustments being made to the SEA Games schedule and several outdoor and water sports being postponed due to Tisoy, Suzara maintained that the regional sports meet will not be extended.

He said that all matches must be finished by noon of December 11, just hours ahead of the closing ceremonies at 6 p.m.

“In the Olympic games, there were competitions held midnight hanggang morning. Ganun ang Olympic games. So we can do that also. Kung kailangan umabot rin tayo ng alas dose ng gabi, para tapusin lang, makakapahinga,” he said.

[Translation: In the Olympic Games, there were competitions held from midnight to morning. That’s how it was in the Olympic Games. So we can do that also. If we need to go as late as 12 midnight so we can finish and the athletes can rest.]

He also assured that athletes who fail to compete due to bad weather would not be considered to have forfeited from their matches.