Fernandez commends Vietnam’s “organized” hosting of 31st SEAG
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Vietnam’s hosting of the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) has earned praises from Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioner Ramon “El Presidente” Fernandez, for the host nation’s well-organized hosting of the biennial meet.
Except for some minor setbacks, Fernandez has nothing but praises for Vietnam’s hosting amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Vietnamese SEA Games hosts have been warm, hospitable, and run a tight ship. The accommodations of our athletes, coaches, and other staff of the Philippine team are comfortable. We have been treated well. There have been no major complaints,” said Fernandez who is also the chef de mission of Team Philippines.
Fernandez has only heard one problem so far from Team Philippines and that was their transport from the hotels to the training and competition venues. However, it was understandable, said Fernandez, since Vietnam, like the rest of the region, was still coping with the restrictions – no matter how minor – of the health pandemic.
“The organizers have been apologetic about this issue and have addressed our concerns as soon as they can whenever the transport problems crop up,” Fernandez added.
“Overall, we are satisfied by the treatment extended by our Vietnamese hosts and give them the thumbs-up.”
In 2019, the Philippines under the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) Foundation, Inc., headed by former senator Alan Peter Cayetano successfully hosted the 30th SEA Games.
The Philippines amassed a total of 387 medals with 149 gold medals, 117 silvers, and 121 bronzes to claim the top spot in the medal tally.
On the other hand, aside from praising Vietnam, Fernandez revealed that national team morale remains high after visiting most of the country’s campaigners in the Vietnamese capital and surrounding areas, a testament to their resiliency despite the many challenges they faced.
“We have tried our best in visiting all of our athletes in the various sports and found most, if not all, of them in high spirits,” he said.
He cited the example of track and field athlete Clinton Kingsley Bautista, who bucked a serious shin injury barely a month before the regional meet to recover in time and retain the men’s 110-meter hurdles title with a record-breaking run at the My Dinh National Stadium last Monday.
Sticking basically to the successful game plan in his breakthrough win in the 2019 30th SEAG, at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, Bautista blasted away from the starting blocks to win the race in a new national mark of 13.78 seconds.
The 29-year-old pride of Camiling, Tarlac reset the five-year-old standard of 13.91 seconds set by Patrick Unso, the son of celebrated middle-distance runner Renato Unso, in the 2017 Thailand Open.
“Clinton showed a heroic effort in overcoming adversity to retain his hurdles title. I hope the rest of our competing athletes can draw inspiration from his experience,” Fernandez said.
Currently, the Philippines is in third place in the medal standings with a 34-39-51 (gold-silver-bronze) harvest while Thailand is in second with a 43-45-63 tally. Host Vietnam is way on top with a 101-65-64 haul. /rcg
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