The Philippines will have to wait a foreseeable future to reclaim their Southeast Asian Games gold medal from Thailand.
Laos on Friday in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand announced its intention to slash the number of disciplines from 43 to only 25 for the 2009 edition of the regional event which includes baseball as one of those non-inclusions.
Other sports to be axed include basketball, gymnastics, cycling, softball, and triathlon.
Baseball has been a part of the games since the 2005 games in Manila that saw the host country taking the gold medal over Thailand. On the other hand, the Thais dethrone the Filipino batters to capture the crown this year.
The list includes archery, athletics, badminton, bowling, boxing, football, futsal, golf, handball, judo, karate-do, muay, petanque, pencak silat, sepak takraw, shooting, shuttle cock, snooker and billiards, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, traditional boat race, volleyball/beach volleyball, wrestling and wushu.
Officials from the next host cited the lack of facilities, little number of competitors, and weak participants as reasons for the cutback.
The games will be held in Vientiane for the 2009 games scheduled in December. It will be the lowest number of events to be held since the 1999 meet in Brunei which saw only 21 sports held in the oil-rich nation.