FIVE golds. THREE silvers. 11 bronzes. Fifth in the athletics medal standings behind champion Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia at the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur. The forecast was three golds.
Eric Cray, the fastest man in South East Asia should’ve won three to four gold medals if not for the host country suddenly changing the schedule—even changing lane assignments.
Cray ran the 400m then an hour and five minutes later ran the 100m. I don’t know what the host country was thinking of—or they weren’t thinking at all.
It takes the human body more than just an hour to recover after a grueling race.
Cray took the silver in the 100m. Imagine if he was given time to recover, we’d be talking about eight to nine golds.
This was the statement released by Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) at the conclusion of the athletics events:
Statement from the PATAFA:
“Overall, we’re satisfied with our performance: five golds (could have been eight if EJ Obiena didn’t suffer an ACL; if Cray’s events 100m and 400 m hurdles weren’t strategically sandwiched with just barely an hour’s rest period and if he was in the 4x 100 relay). Two national records were broken in the 4×100 men and 4×100 women (which broke the existing mark of 45.29 established in 1981 by Lydia de Vega, Edna Punelas, Rhoda Sinoro and Elena Ganosa). New records are 39.11 for men and 44.81.
We had the highest gold medal tally in the entire Philippine contingent and came in fifth in the athletics overall tally behind Indonesia which had also five golds but had four more silvers with seven.
We fought forcefully to protect our athletes’ health and safety but parties had politicized the whole process by manipulating schedules and lane assignments to their advantage.
We will continue and strengthen our developmental programs with an eye towards the Asian Games in 2018, the SEA Games in 2019 and Tokyo Olympics in 2020. We’ll make sure we do well in both the playing field and in the back rooms where schedules are made.”
The PATAFA is the best performing NSA. Vietnam is this year’s overall athletics champion but when the SEA Games moves to Manila in 2019, expect the host country’s athletics team to go out to win the athletics overall title.
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