Myanmar '100 per cent' ready for Games

All eyes will be on Myanmar as the reclusive country prepares for its coming-out party in hosting next month's SEA Games.

While organisers have consistently insisted that they are ready to welcome the athlete contingents from the various ASEAN nations, concerns remain of Myanmar's capability to run the regional sports extravaganza smoothly from Dec 11 to 22.

After all, it has been 44 years since Myanmar last hosted a sports event of such scale, back when it was still called the South-east Asian Peninsular Games in 1969.

Nevertheless, U Khin Maung Lwin, joint secretary general of the Myanmar Olympic Committee, has reassured all participants that the organising committee is "100 per cent" ready to host the Games.

He told The Straits Times on Monday: "Everything that is supposed to be constructed, everything that is supposed to be provided, we will ensure that it will be ready, and on time for the contingents when they arrive.

"We wish to assure everyone that we will have no problems welcoming our guests to the Games in Naypyidaw."

Indeed, in the months leading up to the Games, Myanmar has been actively seeking assistance from ASEAN nations on running the various sports competitions.

For instance, Singapore Swimming president Jeffrey Leow has travelled to Naypyidaw to lend his advice to swimming officials on the finer aspects of conducting a regional-level tournament.

He said: "They do have the 'hardware' - the swimming complex has excellent modern facilities. But it is in the 'software' administrative parts which they lack in experience.

"We are trying hard to get them up to adequate levels for the Games."

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