Team Philippines takes home tale of triumph from Turkmenistan
ASHGABAT—There were no bold predictions of triumph for the Philippines prior to the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.
No wonder Makati City Representative and chef de mission Monsour Del Rosario is amazed at the unexpected feat of Filipino athletes.
“We succeeded and exceeded the expectations of the country,” said Del Rosario during the closing ceremony of the Games, considered as the second biggest multisport meet in the continent after the Asian Games.
The Philippines closed out its campaign with two gold medals, 14 silvers and 14 bronzes after 12 days of action where 62 countries, including 17 from the Oceania region led by Australia and New Zealand, participated.
With 116 Filipino athletes figuring in 17 sports, the national team overwhelmingly eclipsed the one-gold and two-bronze production during the 2013 AIMAG held in Incheon, South Korea.
“I told our athletes to give their best so we can surpass our previous medal output. They delivered more than what I had asked for,” said Del Rosario, a former taekwondo champion and action star now serving as secretary general of the Philippine Taekwondo Association.
Jiu-jitsu specialists Annie Ramirez and Margarita Ochoa led the country’s medal haul with gold medals in their sport while lady billiard aces Rubilen Amit and Chezka Centeno, bowler Kenneth Chua, muay warrior Phillip Delarmino, poomsae artists Rodolfo Reyes Jr. and Jocel Lyn Ninobla and lifter Hidilyn Diaz brought home silver medals.
“I guess this will be a big challenge for the next chef de mission in the next AIMAG,” said Del Rosario, who had Philippine Karatedo Federation secretary general Raymund Lee Reyes as his deputy.
Also capturing silver medals were trackster Eric Shauwn Cray, jiu-jitsu’s Gian Taylor Dee, Marc Alexander Lim and Jenna Kaila Napolis, the dancesport pair of German Enriquez and Danella Publico and the tandem of international masters Jan Emmanuel Garcia and Paulo Bersamina of the men’s rapid chess team under-23.
The gold medalists will receive P2 million each from the Philippine Sports Commission, silver performers will earn P1 million while a bronze is worth P400,000.
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