Scrubbed gold-winning sports for PH back in Vietnam SEA Games calendar
The Philippines’s bid in next year’s Southeast Asian games got a big boost when some of its gold-winning events were rewritten into the calendar of the Vietnam edition.
Triathlon, which the country swept in dominating fashion to kick off its gold medal blitz in the biennial meet it hosted last year, jiujitsu and esports were added to the calendar on Thursday. Bowling, which failed to notch a gold last year, was also added to the list of sports, bringing to 40 the number of disciplines on tab for the Vietnam SEA Games.
“The triathlon community is elated. Now, we can pursue our quest to continue dominating SEA Games triathlon, which started in 2015 Singapore,’’ said Triathlon Association of the Philippines president Tom Carrasco, who is hoping for another gold-silver sweep in the men’s and women’s divisions.
Vietnam will host the SEA Games from Nov. 21 to Dec. 2, just months after Tokyo will hold the rescheduled Olympics.
“With God’s grace, our bowling team will train hard to deliver the medals expected from our sport,’’ Philippine Bowling Federation secretary general Bong Coo said.
The SEA Games Federation Executive Committee approved these previously scratched sports at a recent online meeting and will make a formal announcement next month.
Nikko Huelgas was back-to-back men’s triathlon champion in the 2015 and 2017 (Malaysia) SEA Games while John Chicano stretched the golden streak last year in Subic.
Kim Mangrobang successfully defended the women’s diadem last year following a golden finish in 2017. Claire Adorna ruled the event in 2015.
“We expect the young triathletes of Singapore to give our triathletes the biggest challenge,’’ Carrasco said, explaining that eight of the 11 countries supported the inclusion of triathlon.
The Philippines topped the medal tally in jiujitsu last year with Meggie Ochoa (women’s 45 kilograms), Annie Ramirez (55 kg), Carlo Angelo Peña (men’s 56 kg), Adrian Guggenheim (77 kg) and Dean Michael Roxas (85 kg) leading the way with five gold medals, three silvers and three bronzes.
Philippine esports likewise overshadowed the opposition by taking three of the six gold medals at stake while Filipino bowlers wound up with a silver and bronze.
The collective efforts of Pinoy athletes from 56 sports propelled Team Philippines to the overall title with 149 gold medals last year with Vietnam placing a far second with 98 golds.
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