Tolentino: PH can win 130 to 180 gold medals

The Philippines can still make it to the top of the medal race with at least 130 gold medals. 

Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino believes that athletes competing in the 30th Southeast Asian Games can achieve this. 

“It’s 130 up and I could go as high as 180,” said Tolentino, with three days left before the official start of the biennial meet. 

“We can still get the overall championship with this,” added Tolentino, who talked about his medal outlook while assessing the glitches that have been taking place as the games’ official opening gets nearer. 

Combat sports account for most of the gold-medal projection, with arnis tipped to get at least 15 golds from the 20 events on tap. 

There are at least five golds each from judo, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, sambo, wrestling, according to research by sports leaders. 

Outside of combat sports, dancesport is projected to get 10 gold medals, while athletics and gymnastics are confident of getting nine. 

With three days left before opening begins at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, Tolentino believes that organizers are experiencing “birth pains” in dealing with the needs of various delegation as they arrive early and get ready for the Games. 

“Birth pains ito, lalo na ngayon,” remarked Tolentino. 

Delegations from many countries experienced transportation snafus, bad traffic and poor coordination upon arriving in the country. 

Meanwhile, the Philippine Sports Commission, as promised, made sure that the newly restored Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and PhilSports Complex in Pasig City will be part of this year’s historic event. 

Seven out of 56 sports for the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games will be played at the refurbished and leveled-up facilities in RMSC and PhilSports.

The renovation of these Complexes were made possible by the donation amounting to P842-million given by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and not part of the SEA Games budget. 

“This is a sporting heritage that will always remind us of the hardships, failures and victories of every Filipino athlete.” said Team Philippines Chef de Mission and PSC Chairman William Ramirez. 

Last Monday, the men’s football competitions kicked off at the newly restored RMSC Football Pitch, five days ahead of the SEA Games opening ceremonies which will happen on Saturday, November 30 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. 

The 6,000-seater Ninoy Aquino Stadium which initially hosted the Team Philippines Send-Off ng Bayan last Nov. 13, will be the playing venue for weightlifting and taekwondo competitions. 

The Rizal Memorial Coliseum is also now ready to welcome guests for gymnastics event after its full renovation that started last July. 

RMSC Tennis Courts will host the lawn tennis and soft tennis competitions while the indoor volleyball actions will take place at the newly improved Multi-Purpose Arena in PhilSports. 

“These restored facilities are not only for SEA Games but for Team Philippines so they can have a morale boosting inspiration that will eventually result to a leveled-up performance. This is not for PSC, this is for Team Philippines and our future generations.” said Ramirez.

Date: November 28, 2019 | By: Peter Atencio | Newspaper: Manila Standard | Source: