4 PH 'gold mines' in danger of missing SEA Games '25 cut

Weightlifter Vanessa Sarno was among the champs in last year's SEA Games. PSC-POC Media Pool (file photo)
By Dugout Philippines

MANILA--The Philippines is bound to lose outright eight potential gold medals in next year’s 33rd Southeast Asian Games unless host Thailand reconsiders weightlifting, wushu, jiu-jitsu, and karate which were scrapped from its 40-sport program.

“We already appealed to the Thai hosts the inclusion of weightlifting, wushu, jiu-jitsu, and karate,” said Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino who led a team in the SEA Games Federation meeting in Bangkok over the weekend.

“And it’s not only the Philippines which appealed but a majority of the games' members,” he added.

Thailand is hosting the SEA Games from December 9-20 in Bangkok, Chonburi, and Songkhla.

Jiu-jitsu athletes Kaila Napolis, Annie Ramirez, and Marc Lim, wushu’s Agatha Wong, karate’s courtesy Jamie Lim and Sakura Alforte, and weightlifting’s Elreen Ando and Vanessa Sarno won a gold medal each in the 32nd SEA Games last year in Cambodia.

“We will lose a lot of gold medals if the appeal won’t be granted,” said Tolentino, adding the country will compete in all 40 medal sports but not in the demonstration sports tug of war and flying disc or frisbee.

Tolentino attended the meeting with POC Secretary General Atty. Wharton Chan, deputy secretary-general Ali Sulit of judo, Don Caringal of volleyball, Karen Tanchangco-Caballero of sepak takraw, and Carl Sambrano of skateboard.

The POC has yet to pick a chef de mission to the Thailand games.

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