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Opinion

EDITORIAL - Another dismal performance

The Freeman

The dismal performance of the Philippine athletes in the recent Southeast Asian Games was not really surprising. That the country maintained its miserable place in the standing among competing countries would only show there seems to be no hope for any improvement to the present situation.

While neighboring countries have been making great strides in sports development, the country remains mired in a hopeless state. And it would certainly take a long time before the country can return to its former glory.

In the latest SEA Games, host Myanmar, which settled for second in the final tally, had far more gold medals than the Philippines, which stumbled into its worst finish ever. This is a great improvement for Myanmar, which has been consistent at the bottom of the standing in previous games.

The Philippines used to dominate the biennial meet. A powerhouse in the region, the country even made its presence felt in global sporting competitions. But that was 50 years ago when other countries were still starting to implement long-term programs for sports development.

Today, the country has been overtaken by Myanmar, Vietnam and Singapore. And in the near future, it would be Cambodia, Laos, Brunei and East Timor that will give the Philippines a run for its money.

The problem is that, aside from the absence of concrete programs to develop the sports from the grassroots, bickering among sports officials in the country has been creating factions, killing any effort for a real direction.

But all is not lost for the Philippines. There is still time to regroup to reclaim our lost glory in the world stage. All we need is for authorities to unite and come up with a sweeping overhaul of concerned agencies.

Unless honest-to-goodness reforms are in place, the future of the country's sports will remain to be bleak.

BRUNEI AND EAST TIMOR COUNTRIES COUNTRY DEVELOPMENT FUTURE GAMES MYANMAR PHILIPPINES SOUTHEAST ASIAN GAMES SPORTS VIETNAM AND SINGAPORE
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