WATCH: SEA Games 2017 comes to a close
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – As the 2017 Southeast Asian Games come to a close, here's a recap of the Philippines' performance across all events.
Jane Bracher reports:
Twenty-four golds, 33 silvers, 64 bronzes. That’s all she wrote for Team Philippines in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Philippines crashes to its worst SEA Games finish since 1999, when the country hauled 20 gold medals in Brunei.
This year’s delegation of over 400 athletes fails to match its 29-gold medal output from 2015 and 2013, despite its target of 50 gold medals.
It has been a steady decline of gold medals for the Philippines since it last hosted the games in 2005.
Despite the struggle with garnering gold medals, Filipino athletes still had their shining moments in victory.
Mary Joy Tabal collected the country’s first gold in the marathon event, while Dines Dumaan won the last Philippine gold in pencak silat.
Other gold winners come from triathlon, gymnastics, pool, men's 200- and 400-meter dash, 400-meter hurdles, boxing, men's basketball, women's wushu, women's judo, fencing, decathlon, ice hockey, taekwondo, lawn bowls, billiards, and equestrian.
Many Filipino athletes, however, suffered painful defeats, including Rio Olympians Nestor Colonia and Kirstie Alora.
The Philippines winds up in 6th place for the second straight SEA Games. By contrast, host Malaysia collects a whopping 145 gold medals, along with 92 silvers, and 86 bronze medals.
Thailand comes in second with 72 golds. Vietnam has 58 golds and barely edges out Singapore’s 57, while Indonesia picks up 38 gold medals.
The Philippines will have another shot at redemption when it again hosts the Southeast Asian Games in 2019. The preparations are already underway with plans to finally breathe life into the floundering Philippine sports program. Filipino athletes will continue to do the best they can but they will need all the support they can get – in 2019 and beyond.
Jane Bracher, Rappler, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. – Rappler.com