By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Butch Ramirez lauded the country’s fourth-place finish in the Hanoi 31st Southeast Asian Games that ended in whirl of color and pageantry Monday night in Vietnam, saying there was nothing to be ashamed of it.
Despite the difficulties the Filipino athletes encountered from training to actual competitions, Ramirez said they waged valiant battle against regional rivals with some producing the desired results.
There were numerous near misses, too, but Ramirez was satisfied with their showings that saw them bring home 52 gold, 70 silver and 104 bronze medals
“It would have been a very good finish had we converted 50 percent of our silvers (to gold) and bronzes (to silver),” said Ramirez.
In fact, it was best performance by a PH delegation since the 2003 edition – not counting the 2005 and 2019 editions where the country hosted and won the overall championships.
Host Vietnam expectedly won the overall championship with a massive haul of 205 golds, 125 silvers and 116 bronzes.
Ramirez also pointed out that developing elite athletes was expensive, and that they would need all the financial support they could get not only from the government but also from the private sector.
“You need money for coaches, both local and foreign, airfare, transportation and hotel for international exposure to season them, plus the logistical support like proper nutrition, sports psychology, and medicine for athletes discovered abroad or locally,” Ramirez said.
Cayetano lauds Team PH
Meantime, Senator-elect Alan Peter Cayetano also congratulated Team PH, saying: “A big congratulations to our athletes on winning fourth place for our country. Thank you for pouring your heart, mind, and soul onto the SEA Games,” Cayetano said on May 22, 2022.
“All things considered, we did very well sa SEA Games na ito. We have to remember na medyo on-and-off ang training ng athletes natin during the pandemic. And to put it in perspective, ito ang isa sa biggest medal hauls natin sa games na hindi dito sa Pilipinas ginawa,” Cayetano said.