MANILA - Philippine Sports Commission Chairperson William Ramirez expressed his gratitude on Thursday to the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the crucial contribution of military athletes to the country's medal haul in the recent 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Olympic champion weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippine Air Force, trackster Clinton Bautista of the Philippine Navy and boxers Ian Clark Bautista (Navy) and Eumir Marcial (Air Force) delivered the gold medals in their respective sports.
Joining them are muaythai's Phillip Delarmino of the Philippine Navy and PH women's basketball players Janine Pontejos and France Mae Cabinbin of the Philippine Army and Marizze Andrea Cabinbin (Navy).
"We thanked the Armed Forces of the Philippines for these athletes. The contributions of the AFP proved vital to our success in the SEA Games,'' Ramirez said.
Team Philippines brought home 52 gold, 70 silver and 104 bronze medals and ended up fourth overall in the medal standings, the best finish of the nation in the Games outside of the Philippines since winding up second overall in 1983 Singapore.
The six gold medals coming from these soldier-athletes gave Team Philippines enough cushion from Singapore, which delivered 47 gold medals and settled fifth overall in the medal tally.
"The AFP has been very supportive, not only in our SEA Games campaign, but every time we carry our flag in international competitions,'' said Ramirez, who also thanked the rest of the 117 enlisted athletes and coaches from the three branches of military service.
Military athletes also grabbed 11 silver and 16 bronze medals from Hanoi with rowers Cris Nievarez (Army) and Joanie Delgaco (Navy) winning at least two medals each along with WGM Janelle Frayna (Air Force) in chess.
Other silver medalists from the AFP are decathlete Aries Toledo, boxer Irish Magno, Grandmaster Darwin Laylo of chess, Russel Misal of table tennis, Jeson Patrombon (tennis) and wrestlers Alvin Lobreguito, Ronil Tubog and Jhonny Morte.
Also claiming bronze medals were military-athletes Sonny Wagdos and Jelly Dianne Paralige of athletics, boxer Riza Pasuit, rowers Roque Abala and Nicanor Jasmin, sepak takraw's Jason Huerte and Rheyjey Ortouste, beach volleyball's Alnakran Abdilla, Jovelyn Gonzaga and wrestlers Jason Balabal and Noel Norada. (PR)