Timor Leste ends medal drought in 30th SEA Games
Timor Leste ends medal drought in 30th SEA Games
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - December 9, 2019 - 10:47am

MANILA, Philippines — Timor Leste is not going home without a medal. 

After a spirited effort at the PICC Forum on Sunday, Timor Leste boxer Jose Barretto Quintas Da Silva notched his country their first medal in the 30th Southeast Asian after days without any wins.

As the games wore on, netizens began to cheer for Timor Leste as their delegation went days without a medal to begin their SEA Games campaign.

“East Timor is the poorest Southeast Asian nation, only gaining independence in 2002. Yet they chose to be party of ASEAN and the SEA games," one person wrote on Twitter. 

"I hope you get a medal or two before going home. You guys deserve it."

The teams themselves noticed the clamor. 

In response to the overwhelming support, Alexandrino da Costa, an official of their taekwondo federation, told SunStar Davao, “We are glad to be here. Thank you Philippine Government. I hope one day you (Filipinos) would also come visit our country."

Da Silva finally ended the long drought for the Timor Leste faithful, notching a bronze medal after reaching the semifinals of the men's flyweight 52kg category.

Timor Leste last won a paltry but hard-fought three medals in the 2017 SEA Games held in Malaysia, where the Philippines also bowed out in a sixth-place finish. 

They also sent the games' smallest delegation with with 48 athletes competing in just 10 sports. In comparison, the host country fielded 1,115 Filipino athletes and 753 coaches and officials representing the country in 56 different sports. 

Officials from the Philippine Olympic Committee have already disclosed that Team Philippines is closing in on their next overall championship title in the games. As of this writing, the Philippines has clinched 286 medals, with a whopping 112 golds, 86 silver and 88 bronze.  

This, while the games slowly inch closer toward their eventual conclusion on December 11. 

With the country's hosting of the 30th SEA Games coming to a close, everyone is a winner today. And as the motto goes, "we win as one". 

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