Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Philippines' Worst Finish in SEA Games

   I was wrong on my prediction that the Philippines will have a minimum of 55 golds in the 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Indonesia. They just had delivered 36 gold medals behind Singapore with 42 and placed themselves in sixth on the over-all ranking.

   This is very disappointing for Filipinos whose hopes sometimes rely on the victories of his own fellowmen. Victory serves as an inspiration and motivation for others to perform well and boost one's morale. But in this edition of SEA Games, with what the Filipino athletes had shown, it was unpleasant performance. Poor performances are the results of poor and bad managements of the Philippine Olympic Committee who dictates the Philippine Sports Commission. Both are responsible on things Filipino athletes were involved like in the recently concluded 26th SEA Games. 

   Many were not surprised on what will be the outcome of this edition of SEA Games. From the beginning. it was a battle between athletes and the government sports officials regarding on who will be sent to the biennial meet. The problem occurred due to the financial assistance the officials received from the government is less than what they are expecting. But help came from different private sectors and this gives no reasons for other athletes not to join the Southeast Asian Games. 

   Apart from that, sports campaign in the Philippines is not that intense. You will know only one or two like when you hear the name Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao - that's boxing or when you heard "Gilas" and "Azkals" - these are basketball and football respectively. But when you talk about "kempo", "Pencak Silat" or "Petanque", probably someone will ask "What kind of food are those?" Filipinos are not aware of other sports in which our neighbors in Southeast Asia are familiar with. By enhancing the programs in which the Filipinos are familiar with and introducing sports which are not, this may give a lot of improvements to Philippine sports.

   Another problem which the Philippine Sports Commission has is having old athletes. Some of those athletes were seen decade in the SEA Games and still participating in the games. The strength of a new rope compare to the old rope is much higher. This could mean that old athletes are expiring. Strength of a 18-24 years old is very different to the strength of a 35-50 year old athlete. They might have same strength but how long their strength can last? And comparing to other countries, they always have fresh and new faces in SEA Games. They exposed them to the lowest regional games which is the SEA Games and then when they had the experience in the SEA Games, they prepare themselves to a different level of competitions. See. There is transition period. They have athletes ready to substitute the older one. 

   Training facilities also contributes in the worst finished of Philippines in the SEA Games 26. Old sports facilities in the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex are still being used. Training camps are nowhere but with the help of local government like with just what happen to the athletics, they were given chance to train in the province of Laguna. Also, proper gadgets were not fully given to the Pinoy athletes. 

   There's such thing as a "Hit & Run Athletes". Athletes who prefer to compete not under Philippine flag or choose to compete for higher financial assistance only for themselves are called "Hit & Run Athletes". This happened in swimming and in basketball. Their hearts are not for the spirit of nationalism and patriotism for the country but for love of money. 

   Sports martial law must also put into an end. If someone stays long in his office without recognizing himself ineffective and putting himself in a podium he doesn't deserved is called a sport martial law and sport cruelty. Putting hands in the necks of the heads of national sport association's in exchange of stay in position and benefits is a crime that needs proper justice. 

   As the biennial meet continues with the Burmese welcoming the athletes in 2013, it is better to distinguish what possible adjustments to be done, what possible solutions for the looming performances of the athletes, what better preparation to hold, better understanding of different sports, what grassroots programs and training for different age levels to be taken and to have good and comfortable training camps for the athletes. These are some concerns that must be put a total and full focus for Philippine sports. 



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Philippines Poor Performance during the 26th Southeast Asian Games

   Six days gone and with six days remaining, the Philippine contingent in the 26th Southeast Asian Games is still hoping for gold medals. Disappointed with what the outcome of the medal returns, it turns out that there's a need for a change in sports program in the Philippines. Something is indeed in need of change. Wondering why they have only fifteen gold medals after six days, you may think that the team is in the transition period. But it's not. Most of the athletes are veterans on their own fields making it their 5th-6th or nth SEA Games. Many same old faces but maybe different strength now. 

   In athletics, Philippines had just delivered 2 gold medals from Maristella Torres of Long jump and Rene Herrera of 3000m steeplechase. These two athletes are going to retire soon. Shooting, judo, billiards, bowling, diving and tennis are mixed of young and more older and veteran athletes. These sports need a transition. They can not produced more gold medals which are expected them to deliver. They need young athletes. They need fresh talents who have potentials on future sports. 

   On the other-hand, some sports need much attention like in gymnastics, rowing, canoeing, traditional boat race, sepak takraw, sailing, volleyball, table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling. Philippine Sport Commission has to do something to elevate the performances of these sports. They have to invest so that the return is  good. Cutting-off the budget of national sports associations with poor performance in this SEA Game edition is not a solution. It is funny to hear it from an official of Philippines commission. Poor performance is a reflection of how the Philippine sports was managed. These may also a call for a change in the commission most likely in the Philippine Olympic Committee. After 2005 SEA Games, performances of Filipino athletes in SEA Games is terribly poor. If Philippines did not host the 2005 edition of SEA Games, it might fall into 5th or 6th place. Preview

   So if you are tired of the same result because of the same management, better change the one managing it. It's time for new generation. New generation of athletes, new sports programs and new management who has the heart for filipino athletes. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The 26th SEA Games Over-all Championship Battle

  In two days left, the football game in the 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games will kick-off. It will be held before the opening day which is scheduled on the 11th of November in Indonesia. This will be the 4th time Indonesia will hold the biggest sporting event in Southeast Asia (1979, 1987, 1997 & 2011). From these editions of SEA Games, host Indonesia emerged as the over-all champion capturing most of the medals. In these 2011 edition, they are seeking again for the top position among other ASEAN countries. But it will not be made easy for them to reach their goal. 

  Thailand, the toughest contender for the over-all championship will make it difficult for the host to harvest gold medals. This country always send the best athletes. Also, they always send big delegation in every edition of SEA Games. Some say "the more good athletes you send the more chances of winning medals". But of course, all Thai athletes are being trained and well conditioned before the actual battle in SEA Games. It's not only about the chances of winning but to gain experience in the games and to know what level of performances they have in a particular sport event (whether they are weak or strong). Vietnam on the other hand is the third country emerging as contender for the over-all championship. From 2003 in which they hosted the game, they always land on the top three seats of the SEA Games. They are strong in martial arts. They can make surprises in different sport events and sustain it. The other country who can put themselves in the top three position are the Malaysian athletes. Malaysia can possibly share a spot in the top three but not as over-all champions. 

  Singapore is being seen as good as a fifth placer for the this year's SEA Games. They always have young athletes. They always settle in the SEA Games in a modest finish. Myanmar and the Philippines may battle for  6th placer. Philippines who hopes to finish in the top three can possibly snatch gold medals. From the 1997 edition (that was 14 years back), Philippine sports performances decline. In 2005 which they hosted the game, they emerged as the over-all champion. But if they didn't hosted the game, they might fall into 4th or 5th placer like what happened in the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand where the Philippines placed 6th. From first place in 2005 to sixth place in 2007. 

  For the last four positions, Laos will surely top Brunei, Cambodia and Timor Leste in the medal haul. And watch out for Timor Leste. They can grab their first gold medal in this edition. 

For all the athletes in this regional sporting events - big GOOD LUCK! See you in Indonesia!