PH to give host Vietnam ‘good fight’ for overall SEA Games crown in 2021
MANILA, Philippines — Vietnam will stop at nothing to claim the overall diadem of the 31st Southeast Asian Games next year in its territory.
While this has become a familiar trend in these Games, the Philippines vows to pull off a gallant effort to defend the title.
“I assure you that we will be highly competitive,” said Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.
The Cavite representative prefers an early buildup for the national squad, but it would depend on the availability of a vaccine or a cure for the coronavirus (COVID-19) that could ease quarantine restrictions by the government.
Tolentino, however, cautioned that Vietnam will put its heart and soul in asserting itself on home soil with the available resources that the host country has to prevent Filipino athletes from duplicating their feat last year.
The Philippines collected 149 gold medals to secure the overall title when it hosted the 11-nation sportsfest while Vietnam was a far second with 98 golds.
“Do you think the hosts will allow other countries to win with the ingredients available to them? We will give them a good fight,”said Tolentino.
According to the PhilCycling president, a repeat act for Pinoy athletes will hinge primarily on the number and type of events that Vietnam will calendar in the Games.
“As long as we don’t restrict the number of athletes that we will bring. We are looking at around 500 to 600 athletes and it will be better if we can have entries in every event,” said Tolentino.
“We have the time to prepare for these events once the host country announces its calendar,” he added.
Vietnam, which successfully responded to the COVID-19 disease with 334 cases and no deaths, has set the biennial meet on November 11 to December 2, 2021 in Hanoi.
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