PHILIPPINES NEWS SERVICE — PHILIPPINE Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco remains optimistic that when counted upon, Filipino athletes will deliver the gold medals come the 25th Southeast Asian Games in Laos.
Following a meeting with officials and representatives of the 25 sports whose events are included in the December 8-19 biennial meet, Cojuangco bared that the Olympic body’s projection of a possible 30 gold haul – or more – is right on track.
The always reliable events of athletics and swimming again accounted for the most number of gold medals projected in the duration of the SEA Games.
Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association president Go Teng Kok vowed to deliver a minimum of seven gold medals while aquatics, including swimming, water polo and diving, is looking to bring home at least five golds.
“I’m very confident that we will do well in the Laos SEA Games if we go along this line,” said Cojuangco during the weekly POC hour over DZSR Sports Radio 918.
Go said his gold prediction is based on the current records own by his athletes, track and field being a measurable sport.
“Seven golds because until now the records of those athletes stands as the best in the region,” he said without naming who the seven were.
In the 2007 edition of the meet held in Nakhonratchasima, Thailand, athletics won only five gold medals courtesy of Olympians Maristella Torres and Henry Dagmil, Julius Nierra, Rene Herrera and Arniel Ferrera.
Swimming actually was the country’s saving grace two years ago as it came through with eight gold medals, four of them courtesy Miguel Molina, who went on to be adjudged as the meet’s Best Male Athlete.
Counting the two other gold medals won by diving through the Olympian pair of Sheila Mae Perez and Ryan Rexel Fabriga, aquatics accounted for a total of 10 golds.
Molina and Co. are expected to once again banner the RP quintet’s campaign over at the pool in Laos.
Others giving their own SEA Games gold projection include taekwondo (4), wrestling (3 to 5), lawn tennis (1 to 4), judo (2), sepak takraw (2), archery (2) and shooting (2).
Billiards and Snooker stressed it is good for five golds while wushu is from 3 to 5, although leadership disputes in the two associations are a concern to their respective SEA Games campaign.