Polo competition kicks off SEA Games hostilities
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 23, 2019 10:16 PM
Rep. Mikee Romero (sixth from left) with PHI squad teammates (from left) Coco Garcia, Nicole Eusebio, Jam Eusebio, Santi Juban, Anthony Garcia and Antonio Veloso.
Athletes on horseback officially kick off hostilities for the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games with the 0-4 goals event in Calatagan, Batangas on Sunday.
Polo is one of the 56 sports on the program of the 30th Southeast Asian Games that formally starts with the opening ceremony on Saturday at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
The polo competitions also happen a day after the Bamboo Pavillon at the Miguel Romero field was blessed and inaugurated.
Four countries — oil-rich Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and host Philippines — are entered in the glamorous sport, one of the oldest in history.
Having vast resources at their disposal — what with their extensive training abroad and high quality horses — nobody seems to have an advantage over the other which should be a guarantee for a “battle royale” for the two gold medals up for grabs.
“That’s certainly going to happen because everybody is holding their cards close to their chests. Our rivals are tough but we are prepared for the challenges that will come our way,” Rep. Mikee Romero of Team Philippines said.
“But whatever happens, we have to cherish this moment since this is the first time in decades that we have this kind of tournament of this magnitude.”
For the enormity of their efforts, all Philippine National Federation of Polo Players (PNFPP) officials should deserve this early a gold medal since the event will certainly add star power to the biennial event with the expected arrival of the who’s who in the region — royalties, tycoons and high government officials of all participating countries.
“We have so many unsung heroes and heroines in putting up this kind of tournament and everybody experienced birth pains,” added Romero who, along with other members of PH team trained hard for two weeks in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Romero even failed to complete the team’s scheduled 2-week training as he fell off his horse on the eighth day and hardly walked straight for two days.
Hurting and all, the show must go on.
“Everybody is excited so we have to put up a show and try to help the country attain its ultimate goal of winning the overall championship,” added Romero, who will see action in the 0-2 goals starting on December 3.
The Miguel Romero Field was a venue of grandeur during its inauguration Saturday.