The 30th Southeast Asian Games, or SEA Games, is currently in full swing across different sports stadiums and facilities in the Philippines. From November 30 to December 11, 2019, the group’s 11-member countries have gathered in the spirit of unity and friendly competition!
The event kicked off with a spectacular opening ceremony at the Philippine Arena, featuring award-winning artists, performers, President Rodrigo Duterte declaring the games officially open (soon after clapping to the tune of “Manila”) and of course… the athletes! Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao led the lighting of the cauldron, marking the start of the games!
SEA Games 2019 Highlights and Latest Medal Tally
Starting from day one, the Philippine athletes displayed outstanding performances and bagged medals in various SEA Games events, including triathlon, weightlifting, mountain biking, arnis, obstacle course, gymnastics, and many more!
Notably, Olympic silver medalist and Asian Games champion Hidilyn Diaz bagged a gold medal in the women’s weightlifting category. “It takes a lot of trials and challenges as well as tears during training to become a champion,” she shared after winning the gold.
Aside from Diaz, here are some of the many Filipino athletes who have achieved medals in the games:
- Lea Denise Belgira, gold medalist in the women’s downhill mountain bike event.
- John Derick Farr, gold medalist in the men’s downhill mountain bike event. He is followed by fellow Pinoy Eleazar Barba, Jr., who won the silver medal.
- Francisco Solis, gold medalist in the men’s Wushu Sanda 56 kg event.
- Clemente Tabugara, Jr., gold medalist in the men’s Wushu Sanda 65 kg event.
- Filipino athletes also bagged golds in arnis, the national martial arts of the Philippines.
- Filipino athletes bagged all the gold medals (four events) in the obstacle course competition.
In between events, Pami, the official mascot of the 2019 SEA Games, is there to bring cheer (and sometimes, to play) — to the delight of everyone… athletes and spectators included!
Meanwhile, Carlos Yulo, a gold medalist at the recent World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, bagged not just one, but two golds at the SEA Games — including one in the men’s gymnastics artistic floor event. Check out his winning performance below!
But wait, there’s more! The Sports Industry Awards (SPIA) Asia has just recognized the 30th SEA Games as having “the best SEAG organizer.” PTV News has also reported that the Olympic Council of Asia has asked the Philippines to bid as host for the 2030 Asian Games!
Indeed, even as the current games are set to conclude next week at New Clark City, the Philippine’s role in hosting international sports events is bound to continue in the future!