THE Philippines is aiming for its first-ever gold medal in the Asian Beach Games in Phuket, Thailand.
No assurances were given but Philippine chief of mission Richard Gomez said Filipino athletes from muay, jetski and windsurfing could deliver.
“We’re always hopeful that we can bring home more medals compared to the last beach games. But again, this is sports. It’s hard to make promises,’’ said Gomez during yesterday’s send-off ceremony for the Philippine delegation to the fourth edition of the beach games.
A total of 77 athletes and 24 officials from 16 sports will be deployed to the pristine beaches of Phuket to achieve the country’s golden target in the Nov. 14-23 Games.
Southeast Asian Games medalists Philip Delarmino and Jonathan Polosan are the top bets in muay, Billy Joseph Ang (jetski) placed third in the world championship and reigning windsurfing world champion Geylord Coveta is a favorite in the RS Class.
Melissa Jacob, a remnant of the bronze-medal performing women’s 3×3 basketball in 2012 Haiyang, China, will also represent Philippines along with Lhen Flormata, Denise Tiu, Camille Sambile and Mary Joy Galicia.
“We’re positive that our athletes will give their best to win those medals,’’ said Philippine Olympic Committee 1st vice president Joey Romasanta, who graced the send-off at the Philsports Arena with POC secretary general Steve Hontiveros, Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia and PSC executive director Guillermo Iroy.
Pagcor president and COO Jorge Sarmiento was also present during the affair after Pagcor rewarded the medal-winning athletes in the recent Incheon Asian Games, Para Games and world dragonboat championships in Poland with cash incentives from the government.
The Philippines had amassed a total of four silver medals and 10 bronzes since the Games began in 2008 Bali.
In the all-time medal count of the Games, Thailand had garnered 38 gold medals, 36 silvers and 28 bronzes while China is not far behind with a tally of 32-26-24.
Indonesia is third (32-16-30) and South Korea fourth (12-17-20).
Source : Journal Online