Philippine track and field officials vow no more flag flops in SEA Games

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Eric Cray shown here wearing the national jersey with an inverted Philippine flag. File/Agence France-Presse

MANILA — Remember the inverted Philippine flags on the national kits of sprinters Eric Cray and Kayla Richardson during the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore?

Cray and Richardson won gold medals in their respective 100-meter events that year, but those ill-positioned patches drew as much public attention as their achievements.

Ahead of the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in August, the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) wants to make sure that gaffe won’t be repeated ever.

Edward Kho, PATAFA’s marketing official, made the promise.

“Kasi last Games, more than the great performances of the athletes, doon na-focus ang atensyon ng mga tao sa baligtad na flag, which is really very minute,” said Kho during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City. “It’s kind of bizzare for people to be so interested in that, the inverted flag, and not the gold medals won by our athletes.”

“This time, to eliminate that situation, ako na po ang nagpa-prepare. Right now we’re finalizing the designs, there are 2 designs. Minimalist pero rockstar ang dating,” he added.

The flag is normally displayed with the blue stripe on top and the red in the bottom; inverted, it symbolizes that the country is in a state of war.

PATAFA chief Philip Ella Juico blamed the inverted patch on a “supplier error.”

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)



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