Carlos Edriel Yulo performs on still rings.
Joey Mendoza
Gold rush: Philippines surpasses 2017 SEA Games first-place medal haul
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - December 2, 2019 - 1:45pm

MANILA, Philippines — In the 2017 SEA Games hosted by Malaysia, the Philippines emerged with a meek haul of 23 gold medals, 33 silvers and 64 bronzes. 

The Philippines' total of 120 medals was good for a sixth-place finish — the country's worst overall performance in 18 years. 

Today, Filipino athletes have already eclipsed their earlier count for gold medals in just the second day of the 30th SEA Games, according to the Philippine Sports Commission. 

As of posting time, the Philippines has garnered 25 gold medals to go with 15 silvers and 9 bronzes.

"With today's results, Team Philippines has surpassed its 2017 SEAG medal count with 25 gold, 15 silver and 9 bronze medals for the 30th #SEAGames2019 as of 12NN, December 2," PSC tweeted. 

The Philippines scored its first gold medals on the first day as John Rambo Chicano and Agatha Wong starred in the men's triathlon and Wushu women's taijiquan events, respectively.

Hosting advantage

Host countries typically hold the privilege of adding sports to the SEA Games roster.

For this year's iteration of the biennial meet, the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee opted to add contests in a number of sports, including breaking (dancesport), beach handball, e-sports, kickboxing, Kurash, sambo, modern pentathlon, jiu-jitsu, underwater hockey, skateboarding, surfing, floorball, netball, obstacle race sports, and 3x3 basketball. 

Even arnis, a form of martial art native to the country, was given the spotlight in the biennial meet.  

These sports, among others, were also played for the first time in the history of the games. Team Philippines has also so far earned multiple gold medals in a number of these events, including arnis, dancesport and Kurash. 

The Philippines had already previously hosted the games in 1981, 1991 and 2005. The 30th SEA Games are also noted for having the highest number of sports in the history of the games, with a total of 56 sports and 529 events being played in the country. 

The SEA Games are slated to run until December 11.

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