Stage is set for mighty Pinoy comeback at SEA Games
Paul Lintag on Aug 11, 2017 11:52 AM
During the official send-off Thursday at the CITEM-DOT Hall One in Pasay, the goal as been set for the "heart and souls" of the Philippines. The goal is to win 50 or more gold medals.
Hopes are high for Filipino athleteles who are set to compete in the upcoming Southeast Asia Games in Malaysia.
During the official send-off Thursday at the CITEM-DOT Hall One in Pasay, the goal as been set for the "heart and souls" of the Philippines.
The country should be looking at 50 or more gold medals at the biennial meet in Kuala Lumpur which will open next week.
However, don't be surprised if Pinoy athletes break the 60 gold medal mark.
"Between 50, but you know, when I talked to all the athletes and all the presidents, they promised me 63 [gold medals]," said Cynthia Carreon, the country's chef-de-mission, on the SEA Games target.
"But me I kind of say 50. Some of the media have bets with me that we will not reach that but I feel we are going to," she added.
Since winning the overall championship with 113 gold medals in 2005, the Philippines has been on a slow decline in the SEA Games.
The country hasn't finished better than 5th in the SEA Games from 2007 to 2015, winning only a combined 174 gold medals in that span.
The low point came in 2013 at Myanmar when the Philippines finished 7th with only 29 gold medals. It wasn't any better two years later in Singapore as the Pinoy athletes still oly got 29 gold medals, but this time it was good for 6th place.
Now in Myanmar, it appears that it's finally time to fight back.
"I think we are tired of being kulelat," Carreon said.
"In our GDP, we're already fourth. Why can't we be like that in sports? We're up there with Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. So we can really do the same in sports. We should really do that," she added.
Men's basketball looks like a lock for a gold medal with Gilas Pilipinas seeing action but the Philippines will also bank on sports such as athletcs, boxing, taekwondo, and billiards.
The Philippines will send 493 athletes to Kuala Lumpur for the SEA Games that will officially open on August 19.
"Remember, you're always representing the Filipino people," Philippine Olympic Committee President Peping Cojuangco told the athletes in a speech.
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