SINGAPORE – Top officials saw the three silver medals which Filipino athletes won prior to Friday's opening ceremony as a positive sign for the country's campaign in the 28th Southeast Asian Games.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ritchie Garcia said the pre-Games results provided a ray of hope for the 700-strong PH contingent even though none of them produced any gold medals.
“We didn’t expect to win the gold medals in the first few events, but our athletes still made the podium. That’s a good sign,” Garcia said as he waits for the Filipinos’ turn for the traditional march past of nations during the opening rite.
“What we need is a trigger,” he added.
PH chef de mission Julian Camacho shared the same view.
“It’s already a good start because we didn’t expect to excel in the events where we won our silvers and bronze,” stressed Camacho, who expects a 60-gold tally for the country in this year’s edition of the biennial meet.
So far the Philippines is in fifth place in the medal tally for the three silvers it won courtesy of fencers Harlene Ragion and Justine Tinio and paddler Richard Gonzales.
Nathaniel Perez also won a bronze in fencing.
Host Singapore is currently on top of the medal tally with a total of seven golds, four silvers, and seven bronze medals. Vietnam (4-1-5), Thailand (2-3-7), and Malaysia (1-3-2) follows.