PH sailors eye three Singapore SEAG golds


The Philippine sailing team is looking at three gold medals in the 28th Southeast Asian Games set June 5 to 16 in Singapore.

“I think we have a very good chance in the SEA Games. We will be able to get at least three,” said Philippine deputy chef de mission and sailing chief Judes Echauz, who is fielding a 13-member squad made up of eight men and five women.

Echauz, also a board member of the Philippine Olympic Committee, said the golden prospects are in the keelboat and international 470 class events.

“We’re aiming to improve on the country’s previous finish. I’m confident that sailing could help increase our medal production,” added Echauz.

The Philippines wound up seventh overall (29 gold, 34 silver and 37 bronze medals) in the 2013 Burma (Myanmar) SEAG with Richly Magsanai and Ridgely Balladares snaring a silver medal in the men’s 470 class.

Singapore (five golds) and Thailand (four) took majority of the golds at stake in sailing two years ago.

This time, 20 events will be disputed with the host nation expected to collar most of the gold medals.

German Paz was the last Filipino SEA Games gold medalist (Olympic Class Neil Pryde RX:S) in the sport back in 2005 Manila.

Echauz said they’re searching for a foreign coach, preferably from New Zealand, to boost the country’s bid.

“You have to get a good foreign coach. We’re bent on hiring a coach from New Zealand because a lot of New Zealanders are good in the 470,” he added.

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