Southeast Asian Games deputy chief of mission Paolo Tancontian lauded the Philippine athletes for an outstanding performance in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia despite the restrictions set by the host country in terms of the number of events allowed to participate in.
Tancontian told Daily Tribune he was pleasantly surprised seeing the athletes thrive in this year’s biennial meet despite not being able to perform in all of the events.
He also said that he, SEA Games chief of mission Chito Loyzaga and fellow deputy chief of mission Leonora Escollante, were happy they were able to help out the athletes with their needs alongside the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee.
“We all know Cambodia is always at the lower rankings. But we are very happy we are successful and our athletes, despite the restrictions, we still able to get fifth place and I’m very happy especially the athletes,” Tancontian said, noting how this year’s gold medal haul was greater than the 52 gold medals won last year in Hanoi.
“They’re the ones who actually performed, we just assisted them and our performance is excellent and hopefully in the next (SEA Games), our athletes will be able to perform again.”
Despite placing fifth place, the Philippines, behind the efforts of 840 athletes, harvested 58 golds, 85 silvers and 117 bronzes for a total of 260 medals.
Sports such as arnis, taekwondo, obstacle race, boxing, gymnastics, jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, soft tennis and endurance races shone in this year’s biennial meet, supplying 36 of the 58 gold medals the Philippines won in the Phnom Penh Games.