Philippines caps 30th SEA Games hosting with overall championship

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Philippines caps 30th SEA Games hosting with overall championship
The Gilas Pilipinas men's basketball team snared one of the Philippines' many gold medals in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Philstar.com / Luisa Morales

MANILA, Philippines — Team Philippines started and ended strong in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, clinching the biennial meet's championship for the first time since 2005.

Hauling a whopping 149 golds, 117 silvers and 120 bronze medals, the Philippines finished atop the standings by a long mile in the 11-country meet.

The Filipinos already had the upperhand from the get-go.

Gold rush

By Day Two of the competition, Team Philippines had already surpassed their 2017 SEA Games gold medal output with 38 golds.

In the Kuala Lumpur edition of the games two years ago, the Philippines had a total of only 24 golds.

The Filipinos continued to hold a dominating lead over other competitors, with sports like Arnis, Dancesport, Taekwondo and Skateboarding becoming gold mines for the Philippines.

2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz copped her first-ever SEA Games gold medal.

2018 Asian Games gold medalist Margielyn Didal also notched two first-place finishes in Skateboarding's SEA Games debut.

Agatha Wong likewise clinched double gold medals in Wushu.

For his part, Philippine Gymnastics darling Carlos Yulo had a productive outing with a total of seven medals — two golds and five silvers.

History makers, record breakers

Apart from the medals, history was also made by a number of Filipino athletes in the biennial meet.

As expected, the Philippines ruled the basketball scene with the Gilas Pilipinas women's squad clinching their first-ever SEA Games gold medal while the men's squad took their 13th straight championship.

In volleyball, the men's team ended a 42-year finals absence by dethroning Thailand.

Ej Obiena and Kristina Knott also shattered SEA Games records in the pole vault and women's 200-m dash.

Meanwhile, Philippine women's softball team Blu Girls maintained their dominance in the region, clinching their 10th straight SEA Games gold finish.

In swimming, James Deiparine also ended a 10-year gold medal drought for Philippine swimming after ruling the men's 100-meter breaststroke.

The 30th SEA Games also saw 65-year-old Efren Bata Reyes win a bronze medal in the one-cushion carom event of the meet.

Philippine surfer Roger Casugay also made headlines after a heroic act of saving a fellow competitor for drowning.

Overall, it was a productive hosting for the Philippines with the success of Filipino athletes bringing pride to the country.

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