SEA Games: Official explains 50-gold forecast after Team PH misses target

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The country’s chef de mission to the 2017 Southeast Asian Games acknowledged that her 50-gold medal prediction for the Philippines was tough to fulfill.

But Cynthia Carrion, in an interview with Filipino journalists in Kuala Lumpur, said she made the prediction to motivate the athletes.

“I overdid. I did that to motivate them,” she said in the interview recorded by journalist Ron delos Reyes on Facebook live.

“I knew from the heart of hearts (it won’t happen),” she added. “(But) I did that to motivate them.”

29th SEA Games — Final medal tally

Rank

Country

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Total

1

Malaysia

145

92

86

323

2

Thailand

72

86

88

246

3

Vietnam

58

50

60

168

4

Singapore

57

58

73

188

5

Indonesia

38

63

90

191

6

Philippines

24

33

64

121

7

Myanmar

7

10

20

37

8

Cambodia

3

2

12

17

9

Laos

2

3

21

26

10

Brunei

0

5

9

14

11

Timor Leste

0

0

3

3

The Philippines ended up winning less than half of the projected number with 24 gold, 33 silver and 64 bronze medals. The country was ranked 6th overall behind Indonesia. Host country Malaysia walked away with 145 gold medals.

It was the Philippines’ poorest finish in 9 editions of the Games. 

Back in 1999, the country only won 20 golds. But in that edition of the biennial meet held in Brunei, only 233 gold medals were at stake. In contrast, a total of 404 gold medals from 38 sports were on the line in Kuala Lumpur.

Carrion said most national sports association promised to deliver at least 4 to 5 gold medals this year. But instead of questioning them, she used their respective projections to motivate the athletes.
 
“They always say ‘We’re gonna get four, we’re gonna get five.’ So I said ‘Let’s go, let’s go.’ If I said ‘No, you can’t do it,’ it would not motivate them,” Carrion said.

In an interview on dzMM’s “Fastbreak” on August 12, Carrion said she initially projected 64 gold medals.

In the same radio program, she also brought up a conversation she had with national bowling coach Paeng Nepomuceno, who told her his team could win one gold.

“I said, ‘Paeng, you’re just giving me one medal? Can you give me more?,’ ” Carrion said, to which Nepomuceno told her, “I will try, but just say one.”

Freddie Webb, an Olympian and former senator who co-hosts “Fastbreak,” said he agreed with Nepomuceno giving a minimum number as if to manage expectations.

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



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