Over 650 Philippine athletes counted so far for the 31st SEA Games

If you are rooting for the Philippines to become successful in the upcoming 31st Southeast Asian Games (AKA 31st SEA Games, the Vietnam SEA Games or Hanoi 2021) in Vietnam this coming May, be aware that more than six hundred fifty national athletes have been listed to represent the country, according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) article published recently. To make things clear, these athletes were collectively submitted by the varied national sports agencies (NSAs) to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC). The current number of athletes is tentative at best as there are NSAs still finalizing their respective athletes for the SEA Games.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has so far summed 656 athletes who will do battle in the 31st Southeast Asian Games that are due in under two and a half months in Hanoi, Vietnam.

POC President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said majority of the 39 national sports associations which are fielding athletes to Vietnam have submitted tentative rosters for the May 12 to 25 Games.

The Philippines is competing in 39 of the 40 sports programmed by Vietnam for its only second hosting of the Games since 2003. In these 39 sports, the country is participating in 44 disciplines, according to Tolentino.

“Comparing the numbers when we hosted the Games in 2019, we’ll have a delegation that’s slashed almost in half from three years ago,” Tolentino said in a news release on Monday. “And a quick look at the numbers show we’ll be hard-pressed to repeat as overall champions.”

There were 1,115 Filipino athletes in 2019—an automatic privilege that host countries have—and they won 149 gold, 117 silver and 121 bronze medals for a guaranteed overall title.

But we’ll have a fighting team in Vietnam, setting aside the difficulties of training and competing or training overseas because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Tolentino said.

Of the 44 disciplines, the POC has yet to receive a tentative list for athletics, men’s 3×3 and 5×5 basketball, weightlifting and jiujitsu.

The deadline for the submission of entries by names is on March 12 and Tolentino said the POC is hopeful to complete the list—including expected revisions from NSAs which already complied with the body’s February 24 internal deadline—by then.

Several NSAs were allowed to submit tentative lists because they’re still completing their final qualifications or trials,” he said.

The estimated size of the delegation is pegged at 874. Also on the tentative list are 177 team officials (coaches, team managers and/or NSA heads or representatives) and 20 members of the medical (doctors, nurses, and masseurs/therapists) and administrative staff.

Competition venues for Filipino athletes are spread out in four clusters although majority will be in the main hub of Hanoi, Tolentino said. The POC based the clusters on their proximity to Hanoi.

Filipino athletes will be competing in diving, swimming, finswimming, archery, athletics, badminton, 3×3 and 5×5 basketball, billiards and snooker, bodybuilding, bowling, boxing, canoe-kayak, chess, cycling, dancesports, esports, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics (artistic, aerobic and rhythmic), beach handball, judo, jiujitsu, karate, kickboxing, kurash, muaythai, pencak silat, rowing, sepak takraw, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon/duathlon, volleyball, beach volleyball, vovinam, weightlifting, wrestling and wushu.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Considering the difficulty everyone had to endure with the COVID-19 pandemic, do you think that the current athletes the Philippines has right now are competitive enough to bring home SEA Games gold medals? Among the all of the above listed SEA Games sports the Philippines will compete in, what are the five sports that interest you the most right now?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.


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