Pole vaulter EJ Obiena said he’s not hurting but he can still vividly remember his failed gold-medal campaign in the 2015 SEA Games that he intends to make amends in the coming Kuala Lumpur Games this August.
Installed as heavy favorite to win the gold medal having a world class mentor in Ukrainian Vitaly Petrov, Obiena left the charming island of Singapore fully disappointed as he settled for a silver medal.
He did clear the 5.25-meter barrier – a personal best – but Thai Porranot Purahong proved much better, hurdling the 5.30m to snatch the gold medal.
Just by looking at the medal tally in the boxing competition of the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore, it’s not difficult to discern why Malaysian organizers aren’t fond of the combat sport that most Filipinos love.
Out of the 11 weight divisions and 44 medals at stake in boxing, Malaysia was the only country which didn’t manage to pluck a single medal.
As a result, the 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur on Aug. 19 to 31 has ditched women’s boxing and men’s weight classes lightweight (60kg) and welterweight (69kg)—categories that Filipinos usually dominate.
They endure conditions that are far from ideal, training in overcrowded facilities like the Philsports Stadium where they share the beat-up rubberized oval with recreational runners and fitness buffs.
But there should be no excuses for the country’s top track and field athletes, who are expected to be given the best training possible from now until August, when the Southeast Asian Games goes full swing in Kuala Lumpur. There, they will try to recapture the magic of the country’s proud past in a sport that has produced numerous heroes.
Philippine athletics is gearing up for a banner year with a target of 11 gold medals in the SEA Games. It’s a daunting task with traditional powerhouses Thailand and Vietnam also raring to make their mark and host Malaysia going all-out for the overall crown at home.
The Philippine women’s cycling suffered a blow in its medal bid in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Kuala Lumpur after the individual time trial event was scrapped in this edition’s calendar.
Also scrapped were several events in boxing where the country hopes to score big.
Women’s team coach Cesar Lobramonte said the decision of the organizers to eliminate the events was a setback as it was the same event where Marella Salamat won the gold at the 2015 Singapore edition.6_sea
MANILA, Philippines – Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz will likely be reduced to cheerleader for Team Philippines in next year’s Southeast Asian Games as only the men’s event of weightlifting will be staged in Malaysia.
Diaz won a silver the last time weightlifting was held in 2013 and with women’s weightlifting out of the picture in 2017 it’s now up to Rio Olympian Nestor Colonia to carry the fight for the Phl contingent.
Philippine Weightlifting Association president Monico Puentevella, however, is not losing hope that the women’s event can still be reinserted.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) wants national sports associations (NSAs) that are sending athletes to the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia to toe the line.
In line with the country’s focus in sending just medal contenders to the Aug. 19-31 sportsfest in Kuala Lumpur, PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez said yesterday that participating in the biennial event is not a contest who among the 11 nations can come up with the biggest number of athletes.
“Hindi ito paramihan ng atleta,” Ramirez after presiding over a meeting that spawned the creation of a joint task fore involving the PSC and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) at the Philsports in Pasig.
Sports leaders should put in the same effort in preparing national athletes for next year’s Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur as they did in the recent Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
The Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission have agreed not to take the SEA Games for granted and will begin rallying the national sports associations to embrace the 11-nation, biennial multisport competition with enthusiasm.
“We must not look at the SEA Games as the lowest form of international competition,” said POC first vice president Joey Romasanta. “It’s time to take these Games seriously because that’s what the others are doing.”