It’s normally Myanmar’s politics that get the international spotlight, but this week it has been their bizarre sporting choices. The new Burmese capital Naypyidaw will host the 27th Southeast Asian Games later this year and, perhaps fittingly, they’ve chosen some new sports. Vovinam, tarungderajat, kempo and chinlone are all on the agenda and if you haven’t heard of them, you’re not alone.
In fact, most of the other nations are pissed.
Charoen Wattanasin, vice president of the Thai National Olympic Committee, complained that regulations allow for eight traditional sports, not the 14 selected by the hosts:
“Nine out of the 14 are martial arts. They are — well, I can’t even remember their names.”