Phl 12th in AYG, fifth in SE Asia
NANJING – On a scale of one to 10, chef-de-mission Nathaniel “Tac” Padilla gave all the Filipino athletes that vied in the second Asian Youth Games here a perfect score.
“Definitely, they all get a 10,” said Padilla yesterday at the close of the 45-nation event among 2,641 athletes aged 14 to 17 years.
The Philippines won two gold medals courtesy of golfer Mia Legaspi and taekwondo jin Pauline Louise Lopez while Princess Superal of golf, Francis Aaron Agojo of taekwondo and Jurence Mendoza of tennis delivered the silver.
In the inaugural AYG in Singapore in 2009, the Philippines won a silver medal in athletics and a bronze in bowling.
Padilla said even the athletes who did not win a medal for the Philippines deserve a perfect score.
“The way our athletes carried themselves here, in and out of the village, you will be proud to be a Filipino. There was no untoward incident. They gained the most number of friends here. That in itself is a victory,” said Padilla.
The curtains closed on the second AYG at the Nanjing Olympic Stadium last night with the Philippines ranked 12th among 45 countries and fifth among Southeast Asian nations.
Host China had the biggest number of athletes with 255 and as expected ruled the event with 46 gold, 23 silver and 24 bronze medals. South Korea was next at 25-13-14, then Japan (7-5-6), Thailand (6-5-16) and Chinese Taipei (6-11-13).
Singapore came in next at 5-12-6, followed by Vietnam (5-4-2), Malaysia (4-6-7), North Korea (4-2-5), India (3-4-7), Hong Kong (2-5-13), the Philippines (2-3-0) and Indonesia (1-2-2).
To some sports, a gold medal here is a ticket to the 2014 Youth Olympic Games here in Nanjing while to the others it will depend on their world rankings and their performances in qualifying events.
Padilla said the Philippines delegation, supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee, could have done better and is bound to do better.
“Definitely we can still do better. The talent is there. In as much as Southeast Asia is concerned, we could have improved our performance if not for those heart-breaking losses,” he said.