Thailand axes gold medal-rich events for Philippines in 2025 SEA Games

Joey Villar - Philstar.com
Thailand axes gold medal-rich events for Philippines in 2025 SEA Games

MANILA, Philippines – This early, the Philippines is already losing the battle in next year’s Southeast Asian Games in Bangkok, Chonburi and Songkhla in Thailand after the host country decided to remove some events considered as gold mines for Filipino athletes.

One of the disciplines scrapped by the Thais was weightlifting, which delivered the country its breakthrough Olympic gold medal in the Tokyo Games courtesy of Hidilyn Diaz.

Also delisted from the calendar were wushu, jiu-jitsu and karate, which are all sources of triumphs in the past.

Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino said the move could easily cost the Filipinos around eight mints.

“We already appealed to the Thai hosts the inclusion of weightlifting, wushu, jiu-jitsu and karate,” said Tolentino, who was with a team that attended the SEA Games Federation meeting in Bangkok over the weekend.

“And it’s not only the Philippines which appealed, but a majority of the game's members,” he added.

In the last edition in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the country scooped up golds in those discarded events courtesy of Kaila Napolis, Annie Ramirez and Marc Lim in jiu-jitsu, Agatha Wong in wushu, Jamie Lim and Sakura Alforte in karate and Elreen Ando and Vanessa Sarno in weightlifting.

So that’s why the POC is moving heaven and earth to convince the Thais to reconsider.

“We will lose a lot of gold medals if the appeal won’t be granted,” said Tolentino.

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