PH athletes hoping for continued support heading into 2021 SEA Games
MANILA, Philippines — Claiming the overall championship in the 30th Southeast Asian Games was a challenge Filipino athletes cleared with flying colors after amassing 149 gold medals.
Sustaining top form, however, presents a tougher test for the country’s athletes heading into the next edition of the regional multi-sport event which will be staged in Hanoi, Vietnam two years from now.
The Philippines also topped the medal tally the last time it hosted the SEA Games in 2005, but did not place higher than fifth since from 2007 to 2017 as it languished in the middle of the pack.
Times, though, have changed as far as Cynthia Carrion, Gymnastics Association of the Philippines president, is concerned and it’s due in large part to the growing support for the athletes.
“It’s a little different now. Our facilities now are nice. They saw that the government, they’ve built wonderful facilities for our athletes. They’re bringing them abroad, they saw what our organizing committee, Phisgoc went through to make sure everything goes practically well,” Carrion said Tuesday during the Champion Summit press conference at Conrad Hotel Manila.
“So I know, I’ve spoken to the athletes just now. I hope we will not go down. I know they are well motivated, I know they will continue the fight,” she added.
Jowi Uy, who won the silver medal in underwater hockey, hopes the influx of support for athletes will continue for the long haul.
“We’ve always found a way to support ourselves. This year we are really so happy to have the PSC behind us,” Uy said. “I think the continued support of the government to continue to give us the facilities will continue to bring the sport further.”
Roy Canete, a silver medalist in water polo, shared the same sentiments.
“I hope the government will continue our training abroad because for us in water polo we really have a hard time training,” he said.
“Good thing PSC took us to Japan for 11 days to train and that was really important for us. So hopefully, we still get that kind of preparation by next SEA Games in Vietnam and still get the same if not more support.”
Earlier, the Philippine Olympic Committee gave out the incentives for the gold medalists during a general assembly.
Silver and bronze medalists will also receive cash incentives from the POC for the first time, according to POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.