Phl sending 1,233-strong SEA Games squad

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF POC Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino insists the country will go for glory when Phnom Penh hosts the 32nd Southeast Asian Games this May.

The Philippines will send 905 athletes and 257 officials when Phnom Penh hosts the 2023 Southeast Asian Games from 5 to 17 May.

“I am confident these are all fighting athletes,” Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino during a general assembly Thursday at the East Ocean Garden Restaurant in Pasay City.

“They will be competing in all the events despite odds.”

Cambodia has calendared 608 events and will enjoy the luxury of fielding a full team in combat sports in a bid to ramp up its gold medal haul.

Except for the host nation, all the other participating countries won’t be allowed to send full squads in certain sports.

The 1,233-strong Philippine contingent exceeds the 1,119 the country sent to compete when Hanoi hosted the SEA Games last year.

During that hosting, the Philippines wound up fourth overall with a gold-silver-bronze tally of 52-70-104.

The sendoff for the Cambodia-bound athletes and officials takes place 15 April at the Philippine International Convention Center.

Meanwhile, the POC unanimously voted for the suspension of the Philippine Swimming Inc.

“We never wanted the suspension of the PSI but it’s the national sports association which created its own problem,” Tolentino said.

“The POC just followed the order of the World Aquatics. If the World Aquatics lifts the suspension, then we will lift the POC suspension.”

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