THE Philippines is aiming for a top three finish in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, while hoping to get a shot at the overall title.
The last time the Philippines hosted the SEA Games was in 2005 when it won 113 gold medals, but has since placed no better than fifth.
The Filipinos placed sixth in the Thailand SEAG in 2007, fifth in Laos 2009, sixth in Jakarta 2011, seventh in Myanmar 2013, sixth in Singapore 2015 and sixth in Kuala Lumpur 2017.
“We said that we like to improve our standing from (sixth) to at least the top three,” said Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas. “If we can get the overall championship, we will of course try to do so.”
The Philippines won 23 gold medals in last year’s SEA Games for sixth place in the medal tally. As host, Malaysia won 145 gold medals to take the top spot, while Thailand placed second with 71.
The 2019 SEA Games is set November 30 to December 10.
“Show our best foot forward, be as hospitable hosts, and give the best that we can. Second, at least improve our standing to top three. And best if we get the overall championship,” said Vargas.
Thirty sports will be played in next year’s SEA Games although other member countries of the Southeast Asian Games Federation can still lobby for additional sports.