President Rodrigo Duterte lauded the Filipino athletes who participated in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam for bringing honor to the country, garnering 52 gold, 70 silvers, and 104 bronze medals.
The country finished 4th overall behind overall champion in host Vietnam.
In his speech, Duterte praised the athletes for doing a good job in the recent regional multi-sports event.
“I am very happy with the results. It is not really winning but going there just to give the country an image. Though I am happy that we got many medals,” he said.
“I deeply thank you for representing the country with resiliency, excellence, and sportsmanship, and for bringing pride and honor to the Filipino people amidst the challenges that you had to face in these uncertain times.”
The President encouraged the Filipino youth to engage in sports and other productive activities to learn the distinct Filipino values and at the same time, uphold the country’s distinction as among the most competitive athletes in the global community.
“As we unite our efforts to achieve real and lasting change in our society, it is my hope that, even beyond my term, our athletes will continue to uphold the competence, discipline, and commitment that we Filipinos are known all over the world,” he noted.
During the recognition rites, Rubilen Amit, Nathaniel Perez, and Janelle Mae Frayna represented the medalists for the symbolic awarding.
Amit won two gold medals in billiards (9 and 10 balls women); Perez, silver medal in fencing (Foil Individual Men); and Frayna, bronze medal in chess (Women’s individual Blitz).
All in all, the country garnered 52 golds, 70 silvers, and 104 bronze medals in 37 sports out of 39 participated in by the Filipino athletes.
Almost P35 million in incentives were awarded to the medalists, with the total cash incentives reaching almost P52 million, including those given to the coaches.