A TOP official of the Philippine Sports Commission is not too optimistic about the country's chances of moving up in the Southeast Asian Games hierarchy in Singapore next year.
PSC commissioner Jolly Gomez said the Philippines is bound to struggle to exceed its seventh-place finish in Myanmar last year in national athletes continue to struggle in the medal-rich sports of swimming, athletics, gymnastics, shooting, and cycling in Singapore.
Gomez said the recent ASEAN School Games which the country hosted bodes ill for the country's campaign after elementary and high school students in those five sports got only eight medals out of at least 120.
Gomez expects it will be the same story next year when the country’s senior athletes compete against the best in the region in Singapore from June 5 to 16 in Singapore.
“Gymnastics, I doubt if we’ll win. Swimming, we won’t win. Athletics, maybe we can get 10 gold medals. Cycling, maybe two or three. Shooting wala. This should be a wake-up call,” Gomez told reporters when asked about his bold prediction on the Philippines’ campaign in next year’s SEA Games.
Gomez said that while other sports are doing very well in the SEA Games, the medal-rich events have been dragging the Philippines down in the overall standings.
Out of the 29 gold medals won by the Philippines in Myanmar, 12 were won in athletics and cycling.
“Boxing, taekwondo, wushu, wrestling, judo, they are all doing their jobs. They are doing what they are exactly predicted to do. Our team sports will always win.
“But those five sports are giving us a hard time. All we have to do is focus on these sports and we will be back in contention,” the PSC commissioner added.
Gomez also asked the national sports associations especially those in the priority list of the PSC to shape up and make us of the funds given by the government sports agency wisely.
“The priority sports program works. It didn’t deliver to us in some sports like swimming so we took them out. By focusing on the priority sports, we could see that what we decided to do is now having good results,” said Gomez.