Sea Games 2025: Malaysia Plans Appeal Following Exclusion of Karate, Wushu

Sea Games 2025: Malaysia Plans Appeal Following Exclusion of Karate, Wushu

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Olympic Council (OCM) will appeal the decision to exclude karate and wushu, two sports historically yielding significant medals for the nation, from the 2025 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games hosted by Thailand.

Thailand proposed a 40-sport program, featuring flying disc and tug of war as demonstration sports, during the recent SEAGF Sports and Rules Committee meeting in Bangkok. However, karate, wushu, ju-jitsu, lawn bowls, and weightlifting—sports crucial to Malaysia’s medal aspirations—were notably absent from the list.

OCM President Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria stated that the council is currently gathering feedback from national sports associations (NSAs) to prepare an appeal before the August 31 deadline.
“According to the SEAGF Charter and Rules, the host country can propose preliminary sports following consultations with their government. The final list is subject to approval by the SEAGF Council after considering appeals from other member countries,” he explained.

“The process involves lobbying by local NSAs, with each sport needing to be supported by a majority of the 11 participating countries and involve at least four nations per event. The final confirmed list must be ratified 15 months prior to the opening ceremony, around September 9 this year,” he added.

Addressing the exclusion of weightlifting, Mohamad Norza attributed it to doping issues within the host country. Despite this, he expressed hope for a positive outcome from their appeal, citing widespread international interest in the sport.

In a related development, OCM announced that Mohamad Norza had been appointed as the second vice-chairperson of the SEAGF Executive Committee during the same meeting, in accordance with the SEAGF Charter and Rules.

At the 2023 Cambodian SEA Games, Malaysia faced its poorest performance, finishing seventh overall. Karate contributed significantly with four gold medals, while wushu secured two golds. Weightlifting and ju-jitsu added one bronze each, highlighting their importance to Malaysia’s medal tally.

Lawn bowls, another strong suit for Malaysia, was last contested at the 2019 SEA Games, where the national team excelled with four golds and two bronzes across six events.

Category I A (Compulsory Sports) for the upcoming SEA Games includes aquatics and athletics, while Category III (Other Sports) features teqball and kickboxing. Flying disc and tug of war will serve as demonstration sports.

— ANT

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