Last week, the top regional multi-sporting event in Southeast Asia began in earnest here in the Philippines, host country for this year. The 2019 SEA Games was promoted to be the biggest of its edition yet, with the sheer number of different sports included for competition, which is around double the events of the year before. In fact, some of these events were played out during the weekdays before the official opening ceremony on Saturday. Once that was done with however, the host nation finds itself the recipient of good news, in the form of leading the total medal count.
CNN Philippines reports that as of the first day post-opening of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, being played out in New Clark City and surrounding environs, the Philippines is now proudly leading the other 10 participating SEA nations in the combined medal count, as well as the gold and silver counts. According to the official results info system, the host country now has 27 gold medals, 16 silver medals and 9 bronze medals, for a grand total of 52. This is in comparison to the second-placed nation of Vietnam, which earned 10 gold, 15 silver, and 12 bronze (37 total). It ties with third placer Thailand in the most bronzes.
While the current medal count for the Philippines is astounding enough on its own, some of the source events for these awards were big surprises as well. Inquirer.net has it that 10 of the host country’s gold medals were won during the dance sport events on Sunday, December 1. The Arnis event also garnered 5 gold. In men’s gymnastics, future Tokyo Olympian Carlos Yulo has also gotten his gold, along with two from downhill mountain-biking (men and women), 2 from sepak takraw (men and women), and more events that day.
Those who were either at the Philippine Arena during the Opening Ceremony on the evening of November 30, or watching it at home, would likely attribute the strong medal haul of the Philippines to their massive contingent, which seemed to take up the same amount of time marching on the arena stage as it was for the other national delegations put together. Needless to say, the government is extremely pleased at the medal-winning athletes’ performances thus far, with Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo praising the medalists for their efforts, while wishing those yet to compete, or to reach the medal stage, all the best of luck according to The Manila Bulletin.
The 2019 SEA Games will run for roughly two weeks, ending next week, December 11.
Image courtesy of ABS-CBN News