KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will include the marathon in the athletics programme for next year’s Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
The event was initially dropped due to the lack of participants from the participating countries.
But after an appeal, the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) have agreed to its inclusion. And they are now toying with the idea of opening the marathon – for men and women – to the public.
Said OCM president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar: “There are not many marathoners from the South-East Asian region. As such it’s a waste to hold it for such a small number of runners.
“We are now planning to have it as a public event where the ordinary people can take part.
“It will consist of two categories – one for the SEA Games runners and one for the public.
“We also want to make the marathon the first event of the Games instead of the usual final event.
“Having the public take part will surely galvanise the fans’ support for the Games. The idea is still a work in progress but we hope to finalise the details soon.”
In another development, the OCM will include four more sports to the Games, bringing the tally to 38. The new additions are fencing, judo, Muay Thai and triathlon.
The OCM have also in increased the number of events from 342 to 403 following appeals from the national sports associations (NSAs).
“We have finalised the number of sports and events. But the list still needs to be endorsed by the SEA Games Federation (SEAGF) in their meeting here on July 14,” said Tunku Imran.