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OCM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria (centre) chairing the council’s executive board meeting at Wisma OCM in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. PIC BY MUHD ZAABA ZAKERIA

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia could lose another potential gold medal at the Philippines Sea Games on Nov 30-Dec 11 after the organisers dropped the men’s open water swimming event.

Instead, they have replaced it with women’s open water swimming. Several countries are unhappy with the decision.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria said the concerned national sports associations (NSAs) will be informed about the removal of events and new inclusions.

“We have just received a letter from the Sea Games Federation and we will discuss the matter with the concerned NSAs, after which we will provide feedback.

“For aquatics, we know there is a country that is going to file a protest, but we will talk with the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (ASUM) on the matter.

“This is because it involves last-minute changes which also affects the preparation of existing athletes,” he told reporters after chairing the OCM Executive Board meeting here on Tuesday.

Norza said apart from aquatics, three other events will also be replaced in eSports, polo and kayak.

He said based on a letter from the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), the eSports event, Hearthstone, will replace NBA 2K19, while the B4-7 Division polo event will be contested instead of B4-6 goals.

The men’s kayak 1,000m single will also be replaced by canoe’s 1,000m single.

For the record, Malaysia’s Kevin Yeap and Heidi Gan won the men and women’s 10km open swimming events at the 2017 KL Sea Games.

Malaysia stand to lose a possible 70 gold medals, which is half of the 2017 haul as some of the country’s strong events have been dropped from the biennial games this time. Bernama

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