Philippines fielding 272 Asiad entries
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - July 3, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — From only 159 athletes in 2014, the Philippines is fielding a larger contingent of 272 athletes when the 30th Asian Games is held from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2 in Indonesia.

The final list of entries by names was finalized by the Philippine Olympic Committee in time for the June 30 deadline set by the Indonesian organizers of the quadrennial event.

A total of 462 gold medals in 40 sports will be at stake in Jakarta and Palembang. The Philippines will vie in 31 sports, and with a delegation nearly twice as much as before and hopes to do better.

Canoe, kayak and traditional boat race will field the biggest number of athletes with 27, followed by taekwondo and women’s softball  with 17 each, women’s volleyball 14 and then men’s basketball, bowling and bridge with 12 each.

Sports climbing and table tennis are fielding the least number with only one entry each, followed by jetski and wrestling with two each and aquatics, equestrian, sailing and windsurfing, and weightlifting with only three each.

While the deadline has passed, officials from some sports are still batting for the inclusion of a handful more athletes, including athletes from eight to 13 and weightlifting from only two to seven.

Officials from these sports will have until tomorrow to plead their case when the POC holds only its second general assembly under the leadership of Ricky Vargas of boxing.

The POC has also approved 63 coaches and trainers but has yet to bare the list of NSA (national sports associations) officials or administrative officers joining the trip to Indonesia.

Other sports fielding bets for the Philippines are archery (5), boxing (8), cycling (7), fencing (8), golf (7), gymnastics (8), judo (6), karate (5), jujitsu (9), pencak silat (8), wushu (8), kurash (8), sepak takraw (10), shooting (4), skateboarding (3), squash (8), lawn tennis (7), soft tennis (10) and triathlon (6).

In 2014 in Incheon, the Philippines bagged only a single gold medal courtesy of BMX rider Daniel Caluag on top of three silver medals (two in wushu and one in boxing) and 11 bronze medals (five in taekwondo, three in boxing and one each from wushu, archery and karate).

Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting, who became the first Filipina to win a medal in the Olympics, a silver in Rio in 2016, will carry the cudgels for the Philippine participation in this Asian Games.

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