Miracle of 2005 again?

By Dennis Eroa November 22,2019
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Miracle of 2005 again?

By Dennis Eroa November 22,2019 - 07:09 PM

DON’T look now, but the miracle of 2005 may happen again in the coming 30th Southeast Asian Games slated November 30 to December 11.

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chair William “Butch” Ramirez said Thursday night that according to 45 national sports associations, the country, which will be hosting the biennial Games 14 years after winning the overall title in 2005, is capable of winning an eye-popping 274 gold medals out of the 56 sports disciplines to be contested.

‘‘That forecast is not impossible. The PSC is not supposed to predict but during our meeting, 45 NSAs said that we can win 274 golds,” said Ramirez, who stressed that the athletes are not affected by questions regarding the Games organizing committee.

‘‘While the the PSC remains committed to grassroots sports program, I can say that our support to the athletes is unprecedented. Our athletes are not neophytes, they have foreign training and we have the hometown support,” said Ramirez, who is the country’s chef de mission in this year’s SEAG.

Ramirez was also the chef de mission when the Philippines ruled the 2005 edition of the Games with a total haul of 290 medals (112 golds, 85 silvers and 93 bronzes). There were 40 sports disciplines compared to the 56 sports to be contested in this year’s edition.

Ramirez also clarified that he is not a member of the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) which came under fire particularly to the alleged whooping cost of the cauldron to be used entirely during the duration of the Games.
While saying that he is a member of the executive commission along with Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham Tolentino, Ramirez clarified that he is not a signatory to Phisgoc’s dealings.

Ramirez stressed that he has great respect for the Phisgoc leadership headed by House Speaker and Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.

‘‘This is not the time to accuse Phisgoc of corruption, extravagance, etc.,” said Ramirez, who stressed that the Commission on Audit will play its role according to the law, after the SEA Games.

‘‘After the SEA Games, the PSC will report to the President,” added Ramirez.

During a Senate hearing, Ramirez also answered in affirmative when asked if the PSC is willing and capable to run the games.

‘‘We did it in 2005 in tandem with the POC,” recalled Ramirez.

Ramirez said the country will have a total delegation of 2,140, including 1,085 athletes and coaches. He said the PSC has already spent P1 billion for the foreign exposure of the nationals and have the finances ready to reward medal winners in the SEA Games.

‘‘According to the Phisgoc, world gymnastics champion Carlos Yulo will hand the torch to boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, who will light the cauldron at the New Clark City,” said Ramirez.

The country’s flag bearers to the opening ceremony at the Philippine Arena in Malolos, Bulacan are Eumir Marcial, Kiyomi Watanabe, Margie Ochoa, Margielyn Didal, EJ Obiena and Nesthy Petecio.

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