Filipino athletes look forward to 2019 SEAG hosting

Photo caption: 2017 SEA Games closing ceremony

KUALA LUMPUR – The Philippines ended its campaign in the 29th Southeast Asian Games here on a promising note despite another sixth-place overall finish.

Though skater Kathryn Magno wrapped up the country’s participation in the women’s 1000-meter speed skating event without a medal, the Filipino winter sports specialists remained upbeat after collecting one gold, a silver and bronze in their SEAG debut.

The Philippine men’s ice hockey team was the toast of the contingent, completing a four-game sweep of its tournament to clinch a historic gold and will likely defend it crown when the Philippine hosts the 30th edition of the SEA Games two years from now.

Sochi Winter Games Olympian Michael Martinez secured the silver medal in men’s individual figure skating while Alyson Kirstie Perticheto took the bronze on the distaff side.

Overall, the Malaysians grabbed 145 gold, 92 silver and 86 bronze medals while Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia finished in the second, third, fourth and fifth spot with 72, 58, 57 and 38 gold medals, respectively.

Filipino athletes won 24 gold, 33 silver and 64 bronze medals to wind up sixth overall.

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco said the campaign in Kuala Lumpur should be left behind and, instead, urged everybody – including his critics – to rally behind the athletes as they brace for the country’s hosting of the Games in 2019.

“All of us, including the critics, should rally behind the 2019 Philippine hosting and support the athletes in any way we can,” said Cojuangco.