Kiko Pangilinan: Filipina athletes should be respected
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan congratulated the 2018 Asian Games Philippine delegation led by Filipina gold medalists weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, Yuka Saso and the women's golf team and skater girl Margielyn Diaz.
The Philippines placed 19th in the medal tally off 21 medals – 4 golds, 2 silvers and 15 bronzes. The country failed to match its best 5 gold medal haul in 1962, but was able to achieve its best finish since the 2006 Asiad in Doha, Qatar.
"It is made even more notable when 15 of the 25 medalists are women, truly proving the grace and strength of the Filipina," said Pangilinan in a statement from Manila. (READ: Pinay athletes deliver 70% of PH medal haul)
"This is where women should be – empowered, respected, and recognized for their worth and abilities. Not disrespected by blatant misogyny especially from public officials."
Although it's an improvement from the measly 22nd place in 2014 Incheon Games, the senator did not hide his disappointment on the failure of the Philippine contingent to achieve the goal of a top 15 finish.
Pangilinan urged the improvement of the Philippine sports especially with the country's Southeast Asian Games hosting coming in November 2019.
"How can we better assist our athletes? Was the government able to provide support, not only during the Games, but also for the campaign toward it? Are our sports programs still up to date and is able to make the Philippine athlete be more competitive?" added Pangilinan.
"They say women hold up half the sky. In the 2018 Asian Games, Filipino women athletes carried more than half at three-fifths. Congratulations once again, at mabuhay ang mga atletang Pilipino!" (Long live, Filipino athletes.) – Rappler.com