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There’ll be a downpour of medals

05:10 AM February 09, 2019

Forget about dark clouds, there’s the promise of a happy downpour—a big rain of medals—when the country hosts the 2019 Southeast Asian Games later this year.

To dispel fears, the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee has announced “that construction of venues and other facilities intended for the 30th SEA Games is on track.”

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The solid stage is being set for a spectacular hosting and harvest [of medals] for the Philippine contingent.

The Philippines finished a dismal sixth [overall] in the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

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The Philippines topped the field when it hosted the 2005 Southeast Asian Games.

It’s a tradition in the SEA Games to allow the host country necessary perks that enhance victory in various non-Olympic disciplines.

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has said it expects no less than a podium finish for the national contingent this year.

But this early, there is a growing general expectation for an overall top-of-the-heap conclusion for the Philippines in this year’s SEA Games.

A total of 523 gold medals in 56 sports will be at stake from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.

Main venue of the 2019 Games will be the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac. Other venues will be in Subic, Batangas, La Union and Metro Manila, which will stage games at Smart Araneta Coliseum, Mall of Asia Arena, Philsports Complex, Ninoy Aquino Stadium, World Trade Center, Star Mall bowling center, Biñan Sports Complex, SMX Trade Hall, La Mesa Ecopark and Manila Polo Club.

The opening ceremony will be held at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, while the closing ceremony will be staged at new Clark City, venue for 21 sports including aquatics and athletics.

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The national basketball contingent, a hands-down choice to rule the men’s event, has announced it’s going all out to bag all the available gold medals in its turf.

There’s the suggestion to field the young Batang Gilas team against senior basketball squads in the region, in order to inject color and excitement to the basketball competition; but the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has opted for an overkill.

Meanwhile, POC president Ricky Vargas has clarified that he was mainly concerned about the disruption of training caused by the closure of facilities being built for the biennial meet. Vargas said what he was concerned about was the closure of facilities in several centers.

Vargas said he was in constant communication with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to try and mitigate said closure.

He cited the relocation of the national boxing team from Rizal Memorial Sports Complex to a temporary center in Baguio City.

“This is an example of an NSA (national sport association) working closely with the PSC to minimize disruption of activities of their athletes,” Vargas explained.

Vargas is head of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines.

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TAGS: 30th SEA Games, medals
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