KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 — The Paralympic Council of Malaysia (PCM) has suggested that 18 sports be contested at the 11th Asean Para Games (APG) in Hanoi next year, compared to 11 proposed by the organisers.

PCM president Datuk Seri Megat D Shahriman Zaharudin said through the expression of interest survey, an average of seven countries want road and track cycling, cerebral palsy football (CP football), wheelchair basketball and tenpin bowling included in the APG, while judo, blind football and wheelchair tennis have the backing of at least four countries.

“We would suggest the sports be increased to 18 as a demonstration of our desire for incremental development of the games and also to cater for a wider base of para-sports personnel in the spirit of inclusivity as promoted by International Paralympic Committee.

“Vietnam as host nation could seek cost-cutting measures to keep organising costs low and to solicit ideas from participating nations on cost-cutting measures. With our experience in the past, Malaysia will certainly propose some ideas to keep costs low and assist to increase the total number of sports to 18.

“We hope all these issues could be resolved during the Board of Governors meeting scheduled for middle of next January to be hosted by the Asean Para Sports Federation (APSF) Secretariat based in Bangkok,” he said in a statement today.

Yesterday, APSF president Major General Osoth Bhavilai said the Vietnam Asean Para Games Organising Committee (VIEAPGOC) has proposed 11 sports — athletics, badminton, swimming, table tennis, chess, powerlifting, boccia, judo, goalball, wheelchair tennis and archery —  for the biennial games scheduled for December 17 to 23 next year.

The last APG was held in Kuala Lumpur in 2017 with 16 sports, while the 10th APG in the Philippines was called off following the Covid-19 pandemic after several postponements, including due to the unpreparedness of the hosts. — Bernama