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Athletes to watch in the 30th Southeast Asian Games

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Philippines and Singapore battle in water polo (4:46)

Latest from the Southeast Asian Games including the Philippines battling Singapore in water polo. (4:46)

The 2019 Southeast Asian Games is set to formally start on November 30 in an elaborate indoor ceremony at the Philippine Arena.

A total of 11 teams, including the host country, Philippines, will be vying for overall supremacy across 56 sports, and a total of over 500 events.

While focus will be on the host nation, the other countries will also be fielding several notable athletes, including an Olympic champion and a few ageless wonders.

Joseph Schooling (swimming)

The 24-year-old Singaporean swimmer burst into international consciouness after nabbing gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics at the expense of his idol Michael Phelps in the 100m butterfly event.

Singapore's 2019 Sportsman of the Year, however had an underwhelming performance at the 2019 FINA World Cup, where he just narrowly missed out of a podium finish in his home town, ending up fourth at 2:00:023

He looks to bounce back as he graces the brand-new Aquatics Center in New Clark City starting December 4.

Christopher Rungkat (tennis)

Indonesia's pride in the tennis courts, the 29-year-old Rungkat won gold in the men's singles of the 2017 SEA Games and gold in the 2018 Asian Games in the mixed doubles.

He will try to defend his crown at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Courts starting December 6.

Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana (tennis)

Thailand's ageless tennis identical tandem of Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana look to volley their way to the gold once again. The 37-year-old pair won their first men's doubles gold in the 2003 Games in Vietnam and also won the last SEAG tournament two years ago in Kuala Lumpur.

Sonchat was also a silver medalist in the mixed doubles event of the 2018 Asian Games, where he and Luksika Kumkhum yielded to Indonesia's Christopher Rungkat and Aldila Sutjiadi.

The pair have dominated the SEA Games, winning the gold six times over the past eight editions.

Shalin Zulkifli (bowling)

One of Malaysia's premier bowlers had been competing in the highest level for at least 25 years, with her first gold coming at the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima, Japan in the women's trios event.

Since her exploits in Japan, Zulkifli had dominated the bowling circuit, and even earned her spot in the International Bowling Hall of Fame in 2004. She also perched herself on top of the Asian women's bowling standings as no. 1 at the turn of the millennium.

Now 41, Zulkifli hopes to replicate, if not better her silver-medal finish in the team of six category at the 2018 Asian Games.

Bowling kicks off on December 3 at Starmall in Mandaluyong.

Thailand women's national volleyball team

The Thais have become synonymous with women's volleyball much like how the Philippines had been with men's basketball.

Thailand had successfully conquered the women's volleyball tournaments since 1995, and look to bag their 12th straight title at the expense of the host country.

In the recently-concluded 2019 Asian Women's Volleyball Championship, Thailand finished second and fell against hosts Japan in the finals 3 sets to 1. They also nabbed silver in the 2018 Asian Games, defeated by China in the title round.

Moreover, in the ASEAN Grand Prix participated by the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, the Thais lorded over their competition and swept the tournament, winning 18 sets compared to just losing two.

The women's volleyball tournament commenced November 28 and will last until December 10.