Sports officials optimistic of podium finish for Team PH

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2022 05:03 PM

Members of team Philippines react on the podium after taking the second place in the team competition of the Artistic Gymnastics events at the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) in Hanoi, Vietnam, 13 May 2022. Luong Thai Linh, EPA-EFE.
Members of team Philippines react on the podium after taking the second place in the team competition of the Artistic Gymnastics events at the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) in Hanoi, Vietnam, 13 May 2022. Luong Thai Linh, EPA-EFE.

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino is pleased with the performance of Filipino athletes so far in the 31st Southeast Asian Games, where the country currently sits at third place in the medal table.

Speaking on ANC's "Rundown" on Tuesday morning, Tolentino acknowledged that the overall championship is beyond the grasp of Team Philippines in Hanoi, Vietnam.

"Forget the overall. Hindi papayag ang Vietnam, of course. Sila ang host," he said. "But 2-3-4, okay na 'yun."

The Philippines won the overall championship when the country hosted the biennial event in 2019, where they had 149 gold medals. Midway through the 31st SEA Games, Vietnam has already won a whopping 91 mints.

Ramon Fernandez, the chef de mission of Team Philippines, is optimistic that the country can hold onto the third spot in the medal table. The Philippines currently has 31 golds, 35 silvers and 44 bronzes, keeping Indonesia at bay.

"We are halfway through the Games, and we are in the top three of the medal standings, thank God. We are well within our target of finishing at least third overall. We just have to maintain our performance until the end," Fernandez said.

Team Philippines is within striking distance of Thailand (36-38-56) for second place. 

Dancesports and gymnastics accounted for more than half of the output Monday with four and three mints, respectively, with the pair of Jean Mischa Aranar and Ana Nualla, completing a golden treble in tango, Viennese waltz, and all final dance standards at the Long Bien Gymnasium.

World champion Carlos Edriel Yulo, on the other hand, emerged as the country’s top individual athlete in adding the men’s vault and high bar mints to his bulging collection plus a silver in parallel bars at the Quan Ngua Sports Palace.

Among those who shared the spotlight were swimmer Chloe Isleta and bowler Merwin Tan, who produced the first golds for their respective disciplines in the 200-meter women’s backstroke and men’s singles events, respectively.

"We still have several sports where our athletes can win medals, and hopefully they can deliver," said Fernandez.

Still in the medal hunt were the Philippine standard-bearers in athletics, archery, boxing, basketball, bowling, billiards, weightlifting, starring Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Hidylin Diaz, karatedo, taekwondo, wrestling, canoe-kayak, shooting, sepak takraw, muay thai and lawn tennis.

"Marami pang ide-deliver 'yan," assured POC's Tolentino.