NSAs predict winning overall SEA Games title
The National Sports Associations (NSAs) gathered and gave Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino an outrageous gold medal projection that will be more than enough for the country to run away with the overall title in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
“I think winning 130 to 180 gold medals is doable,” said Tolentino after NSA leaders individually made their gold medal predictions on Friday that collectively resulted in that astounding figure never achieved by Team Philippines in the Games.
According to 45 out of the 56 NSAs that will see action in the Nov. 30-Dec. 11 meet, at least 220 gold medals can be won by Filipino athletes, enough to secure the overall title in the biggest edition of the Games.
“If we can reach that number of golds that I’m talking about, it will be enough for us to capture the title,” said Tolentino, a Cavite representative who also sits as president of PhilCycling, the local governing body of the sport.
Tolentino agreed that athletes from contact sports could 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, and wrestling are confident they can contribute at least five victories each.
A reliable source said that these fearless forecasts came out during the coordination meeting of the NSAs with Team Philippines chef de mission and Philippine Sports Commission Chair William “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.
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