(Eagle News) — With 1,115 athletes and 753 coaches and officials, the Philippines will have the biggest delegation in the 30th Southeast Asian Games which the country will be hosting starting this Nov. 30.
The Philippine delegation has a total of 1,868 members.
Still, the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) officials said that the number of entries could still go down depending on the delegation registration meeting on November 19.
Philippine sports officials hope the country would be able to get to the top three among the 11 participating members of the SEA Games which has the theme, “We Win As One.”
The SEA Games, which will last until Dec. 11, will be participated in by 11 nations – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam.
There will be 56 sports events spread out over four main venue clusters in Clark, Subic, Manila and Tagaytay.
Indonesia, the 2011 SEA Games overall champion, has the second biggest delegation with 1,702 including a big number of self-funded athletes and officials.
Singapore entered the third biggest delegation with 1,591 followed by Thailand with 1,473, Malaysia with 1,076, followed by Myanmar with 952.
Vietnam which will host the next SEA Games in 2021, ranked 7th in terms of number of delegation with 890. This was because it did not field athletes in most team events, except in football, volleyball and men’s basketball.
Cambodia, the host of the 2023 SEA Games, fielded 510, followed by Laos with 419, Brunei with 257 and Timor-Leste with 221.
There will be 530 gold medals at stake in 56 sports in the 30th edition of the biennial meet which the Philippines will host for the fourth time. It hosted the event in 1981, 1991 and 2005.
Filipino teenager Carlos Edriel Yulo who made history as the first Filipino to win a gold medal at the world gymnastics championship — the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships — is expected to be among the athletes to bear the Philippine flag at the SEA Games opening ceremony.
Yulo had also qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The other Filipino athletes being eyed to also carry the Philippine flag during the opening ceremonies are skateboard champion Margielyn Didal, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, and boxer Nesthy Petecio.
The opening ceremonies of the 30th SEA Games is set to be held at the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena in Ciudad de Victoria in Bocaue, Bulacan.