INCHEON, Korea - Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ritchie Garcia urged National Sports Associations (NSA) to get their acts together and inspired their respective athletes to ensure a better showing for the country in next year’s Southeast Asian Games.
Garcia made the call as Team Philippines heads back to the country after winning just a single gold in its campaign in the 17th Asian Games here.
“Overall, I was happy with the performance of our athletes. Binuhos naman ng mga atleta ang kaya nila,” said Garcia, who also happened to be the country’s Chef De Mission, in an interview with a handful of Filipino reporters while waiting for their flight back to Manila at the Incheon International Airport.
“We thought we should have won more golds.”
BMX rider Daniel Caluag provided the lone gold medal for the 150-man Filipino athletes, who also accounted for three silvers and 11 bronzes.
It was the least number of medals the Philippines won since the 1990 Beijing Asiad when it brought home 1-2-7 gold-silver-bronze medal haul.
Garcia also defended the government sports agency, which he said wasn’t remiss in supporting the athletes financially.
“Kami naman sa PSC, sa tingin ko hindi kami nagkulang sa mga binigay natin sa atleta. `Yung mga kailangan nila, binigay natin,” he said.
“Nasa kamay na talaga ng mga atleta at mga opisyales nila kung papaano mai-inspire `yung mga atleta natin.”
Garcia’s call for a better showing by Filipino athletes in next year’s SEA Games in Singapore comes in the heels of a higher finish ahead of the Philippines by six neighboring Southeast Asian countries in Thailand (12-7-28), Malaysia (5-14-14), Singapore (5-6-13), Indonesia (4-5-11), Myanmar (2-1-), and Vietnam (1-10-25) in the Asiad.