PSC chief satisfied with SEA Games medal haul
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines stumbled to its worst finish ever in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar, winding up in seventh place in the 11-nation event after winning 101 medals, including only 29 golds.
But the country’s sports officials said they are satisfied with the Philippine delegation’s performance, considering that only a small delegation was sent to the biennial competition.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Richie Garcia said the seventh-place finish did not come as a surprise for him.
“We sent a lean delegation of 210 (athletes), and that includes the team sports like women’s basketball, men’s basketball and women’s football,” he said. “So if you just put that as one event, we won something like… 65% of the athletes won medals.”
“They might look at it as the worst finish, No. 7, but that was already expected, actually,” he added.
Garcia explained that Myanmar, the host country, removed sports that were “not favorable” to them, which led to the removal of 16 possible gold medals. Moreover, Myanmar proceeded to add events that only they were familiar with.
“With that alone, it would be impossible for us to improve on our medal standing, so we ended up No. 7,” Garcia said.
“Of course, we were not the only ones affected. Even Singapore, I think, they lost so many medals compared to the last SEA Games because of the ‘dagdag-bawas’ of the host,” he added.
The Philippines were in sixth place in the 2011 SEA Games as Filipino athletes brought home 169 medals, including 36 golds. Singapore was in fifth place with 42 golds in 2011, but only got 34 in 2013.
“In totality, we are quite pleased with the outcome,” said Garcia.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Peping
Cojuangco has also said that he is “very happy” with the result of the SEA Games.
“If we count it very carefully, almost 70% of the athletes we sent to Myanmar won medals, counting those in team events in basketball, golf, and track and field,” Cojuangco told The Philippine Star.
“One hundred medals alone is close to 50% of the number of athletes. So, I’m really happy with the way we prepared for it and the number of medals we won,” he added.
Garcia also defended the selection process for the SEA Games, wherein emphasis was given on an athlete’s medal potential.
“The selection process also worked, because the people that we sent, most of them won medals,” he said. “Whatever the color is, but at least a lot of our athletes won medals.” -- From a report by TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News.