A SPORT that originated in the Philippines could potentially be one of the difference makers in the country’s bid to capture a better ranking in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Arnis, a Filipino martial art and the country’s national sport, will be one of the medal-rich regular events in the SEA Games with more or less 20 gold medals up for grabs.
“Definitely we are looking at dominating arnis so expect to have a gold medal haul,” said 30th SEA Games Competition Manager (CM) Gerald Cañete, who’s also the Philippine Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (Pekaf) executive vice president.
Arnis was a demonstration sport when the Philippines hosted the SEA Games in 2005.
Pekaf president Miguel Zubiri earlier said that the Philippine side could count on the country’s arnisadors to deliver more or less 20 gold medals.
“It is our goal (Pekaf) to make arnis our national sport and a regular game in the SEA Games,” said Cañete, who attended the technical delegates meeting in the country’s capital on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019.
The Philippines will host the biennial meet on Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. The primary goal is to improve the country’s ranking after its dismal sixth-place finish in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
The last time the Philippines hosted the SEA Games was in 2005 when it racked up 113 gold medals, 84 silver medals and 94 bronze medals, good enough for overall first place. (RSC)