Sports officials laud PH delegation for improved showing in 2015 SEA Games
SINGAPORE — Top sports officials lauded the 466-strong PH delegation who fought and won 29 golds medal here at the close of the Southeast Asian Games Tuesday.
They said it was a marked improvement from the 2013 performance in Burma where the country wound up with the same number of mints although it fielded half as many athletes.
Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia said this time the country sent men’s and women’s teams in softball, water polo and volleyball among other team sports which accounted to more than hundred athletes.
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Garcia added that the Philippines figured prominently in Olympic sports like boxing, track and field and even rugby7s.
He also echoed the call of Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr., to delineate Olympics sports from non-Olympic or those which are considered indigenous sports.
Among the top notchers, indeed, are boxing which captured five of the 11 golds on offer, and athletics where Filipinos Eric Cray and Caleb Stuart rewrote the Games records in men’s 400-meter hurdles (49.40 seconds) and hammer throw (65.53 meters), respectively.
Also providing a bright spot for the PH campaign here was men’s basketball which copped the 29th and last gold on the very last event for the country Monday night by beating Indonesia (72—64).
Softball also triumphed in the men’s and women’s divisions with clean sweep of both categories at Kallang Diamond Field.
The Philippine Volcanoes, in a hope to endear the Filipinos to rugby7s, also made an unbeaten run to the gold medal, while their female counterparts bagged bronze on their first SEAG stint.
Billiards also helped the Philippines rise above water as it swept all three pool events through Dennis Orcollo (men’s 9-ball singles), Carlo Biado and Warren Kiamco (9-ball doubles) and 15-year-old Chezka Centeno (women’s 9-ball singles).
Giving the country its “trigger” was Ma. Claire Adorna, who claimed the women’s triathlon gold for the Philippines’ first victory in the Games. It was followed soon by Nikko Huelgas in the men’s division.
But there are low points, too, in the campaign especially in swimming where the country failed to win a single gold for the past two editions. This time it won just two silvers and 11 bronzes out of the 38 gold medals at stake. CFC
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