Yes, you read it right. For the first time in the 50 year history of SEA Games, Laos will host the biennial event. But even before it has started, controversies has stirred the 2009 Laos SEA Games. Laos has been criticized for reducing the number of events and launching few Olympic sports and as a result, many thinks that this SEA Games is just for the fame of Laos.
Even basketball, where the Philippines is a powerhouse, was scrapped in the Games. Fnck! And offers from different countries to help in hosting the event were turned down by Laos officials. Double fnck! But the worst is the issue about the collaboration between Vietnam and the host country. According to reports, Team Laos have been training in Vietnam and in order to pay back debts to Vietnam, Lao judges will decide that Team Vietnam will win almost all the events in subjective sports --- like wushu, taekwondo, karate-do, judo etc. It can be noted that in the past three SEA Games, Team Vietnam gained almost half of its gold medals from subjective sports. If reports are true: Triple fnck!
Anyway, let's give Laos the benefit of the doubt. We are not unless it happens, don't we? So far, the expected contenders for the TOP 3 spots in this SEA Games are
Team THAILAND - I'm expecting that this country will still be one of the top countries in this SEA Games. Team Thailand has been doing excellent in SEA Games which I supposed is luck running for this country in 2009 Laos Games. As a matter of fact, it is Southeast Asia's strongest powerhouse country placing 2nd in the 2001, 2003 and the 2005 Games and being the over-all champ in the 2007 Games. It seems that Thais are taking sports more seriously than us, huh.
Team INDONESIA - Traditionally, this country is the strongest powerhouse country in Southeast Asia but in recent years Team Thailand has out placed them in the top spot. But still, I'm expecting that Team Indonesia will be one of the top seeds.
Team MALAYSIA - Another country to watch out for. Team Malaysia is the 2001 SEA Games all over champ and placed 2nd in the last SEA Games.
Team VIETNAM - A TOP 3 finish is not impossible for this country. They've done it in the last two SEA Games and they are 2003 SEA Games all over champ. They are considered as Southeast Asia's newest sports powerhouse.
Team PHILIPPINES - I'm hoping that my beloved country will rebound from its lowest windup in the history of SEA Games when it placed sixth overall two years ago *keeping my fingers crossed* But hey, we got the second most number of medals after Team Thailand - 42 golds, 91 silvers and 96 bronzes. Isn't that fncken good? Team Philippines is considered a powerhouse team because all of the included athletes in the list are gold and silver medalists in the 2007 SEA Games and the others are 2008 Beijing Olympians. In fact, Team Philippines is considered as the 3rd strongest powerhouse country in Southeast Asia.
GOOD LUCK TO ALL ATHLETES!