Sports leaders predict at least 220 gold medals for Philippines in SEA Games
MANILA, Philippines—Leaders of national sports associations individually made a bold gold-medal prediction on Friday that collectively resulted in an astounding figure never achieved by Team Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games.
According to 45 out of the 56 NSAs which will see action in the Nov. 30-Dec.11 meet here in the country, at least 220 gold medals can be won by Filipino athletes, enough to secure the overall title in the biggest edition of the Games.
Athletes from contact sports are expected to bring in majority of the haul with arnis projecting at least 15 golds out of 20 events while fighters from judo, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, sambo, wrestling are confident they can contribute at least five victories each.
A reliable source told the Inquirer that these fearless forecasts came out during the coordination meeting of the NSAs with Team Philippines chef de mission and Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Butch Ramirez.
The national boxers, a perennial multiple-gold performer, and wushu fighters have not declared their medal prospects as well as the taekwondo jins and dragonboat paddlers, but are certain to deliver based on their track records in previous SEAG editions, especially on local turf.
There were apprehensions whether the NSAs can really pull it off, but sports leaders have high hopes that a repeat act of 2005, the last time Team Philippines hosted the 11-nation biennial tourney and won its first-ever overall title, is completely doable.
Dancesports have projected at least 10 gold medals, athletics and gymnastics are convinced they can capture a minimum of nine golds each and skateboarding, which features Asian champion Margielyn Didal, are targeting to sweep the eight-event competition.
The sportsfest to be held in scattered venues across Metro Manila and Southern Luzon, Subic and New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, will see 1,115 Filipino athletes from 56 sports participating in 530 events plus 753 coaches and officials.
Also anticipated to produce the needed golds are archery, billiards, bowling, chess, cycling, fencing, golf, ice skating, karatedo, muay, pencak silat, sailing, sepak takraw, shooting, tennis, triathlon, weightlifting and windsurfing.
Team sports will likewise contribute to the golden collection with baseball, basketball, ice hockey, rugby, softball and polo foreseen to emerge triumphant.