MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) will honor the medalists in the recent 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam when they hold its sixth General Assembly of the year this week.
Also in the agenda is the release of the financial incentives for the SEA Games medalists in the meeting that will be held at the Knights Templar Hotel in Tagaytay City.
The General Assembly, according to POC president Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino, will also welcome the Samahang Kickboxing ng Pilipinas and Philippine Esports Organization, as regular members of the organization.
"Tops on the agenda is honoring our Filipino athletes who competed strongly in the Vietnam SEA Games," Tolentino said. "The country may have relinquished the overall championship, but our athletes were a 'fighting team' in Vietnam."
Filipino athletes delivered 52 gold medals, 70 silvers, and 105 bronzes in the Hanoi SEA Games -- the best finish by the country when it's not hosting the biennial event. Vietnam ran away with the overall championship after amassing 205 golds, 125 silvers, and 116 bronze medals.
The host nation's haul was 40% of the 522 events spread out to 40 sports. Thailand finished a distant second (92-103-136), while Indonesia secured third (69-91-81). The Philippines held off Singapore, which finished fifth (47-46-43).
"Everyone knew beforehand that Vietnam would relentlessly dominate the games. But still, our athletes still held their ground despite limitations in their training and preparations because of the COVID-19 pandemic," Tolentino said.
"And to honor and recognize the athletes, the POC is rewarding them with incentives," said Tolentino, who presided over the POC Executive Board meeting on Saturday at the East Ocean Palace Restaurant in Pasay City.
"We're hopeful that when the 32nd SEA Games are hosted by Cambodia in May 2023, our athletes will remain in gold medal form," he added.
Tolentino, meanwhile, said the kickboxing federation headed by Senator Francis "Tol" Tolentino and the esports bodies have completed the requisite to SEA Games participation to warrant their regular membership with the POC.
Kickboxing accounted for two gold, four silver and two bronze medals, while esports contributed two golds and two silvers in the Vietnam SEA Games campaign.
The POC will also welcome the Philippine National Rugby League as a recognized member.