The chef de mission of the Philippine delegation to the 28th Southeast Asian Games is confident that the country can improve on its subpar performance from the biennial competition’s 2013 edition.
Team Philippines could only muster a seventh place finish in the 2013 SEA Games but chef de mission Julian Camacho, who is also the head of the Wushu Federation of the Philippines, is optimistic about the 2015 edition of the event, which will be held in Singapore on June 5 to 16.
“We’ll definitely do better than seventh,” Camacho said, as quoted by Quinito Henson on The Philippine Star. “I think fourth place is doable.”
Camacho believes the Philippines can get five gold medals each from medal-rich events like athletics, swimming, gymnastics, canoeing, and shooting, as well as three more golds from 10 other sports including boxing, taekwondo and billiards.
“That will add up to 55 gold medals, which should be good enough for fourth place,” he said. “Of course, we can generate more golds from other sports.”
The Philippines brought home only 29 gold medals in the 2013 SEA Games, the country’s lowest ever output.
Camacho said they are planning to send a delegation of 300 to 400 athletes in Singapore, and that the country will participate in 32 or 33 sports.
Ten percent of the athletes who will be sent to Singapore are in the “developmental” category, Camacho told Henson, which is in accordance to the guidelines set by Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco Jr.
“We want to expose our young athletes to international competition early,” Camacho explained. “If an athlete doesn’t meet the qualifying standards, but is close or has the potential to improve in the future, we’ll consider inclusion in the delegation on a selective basis.”
The Philippines last ruled the SEA Games in 2005, when the country hosted the event. It has not made the top three since then.
Source : ABS-CBNnews.com