MANILA -- The Philippines will have the biggest delegation in the 30th Southeast Asian Games which the country will host from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 this year.
The country will be represented by 1,115 athletes and 753 coaches and officials.
Indonesia, the 2011 SEA Games overall champion, has the second biggest delegation with 1,702 including a big number of self-funded athletes and officials.
To the surprise of many, Singapore entered the third biggest delegation with 1,591 followed by Thailand with 1,473, Malaysia with 1,076, followed by Myanmar with 952.
Vietnam, the next host of the SEA Games in 2021, is ranked 7th in terms of number of delegation with 890 as it did not field athletes in most team events, except in football, volleyball and men's basketball.
Cambodia, the host of the 2023 SEA Games, fielded 510, followed by Laos with 419, Brunei with 257 and Timor-Leste with 221.
The Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) officials said the final number of entries may still go down depending on the delegation registration meeting on November 19.
A total of 530 gold medals will be at stake in 56 sports in the 30th edition of the biennial meet which the Philippines will host for the fourth time. It hosted the event in 1981, 1991 and 2005.
The Philippines is hoping to land in the top three among the 11 participating members of the SEA Games.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez, who is also the Chief of Mission of the Philippine delegation, believes that Team Philippines will perform well in the 30th biennial games.
Based on the assessments and medal projections made by national sports association (NSA) officials, Ramirez said Team Philippines is capable of winning 90 to 100 gold medals.
Ramirez said the PSC board has approved all the needed funds for the exposures and training of all the national athletes to prepare them well for the biennial games.
“The PSC spent for all the training, especially the foreign exposures of the athletes for the SEA Games,” Ramirez said.
“We hope to find Olympic-grade athletes from them as well as the Tokyo Games are also just around the corner,” he added. (PR)