Capas, Tarlac—The 30th Southeast Asian Games comes to an end today at the New Clark City Athletic Stadium with a party-like closing ceremony serving as a coronation day for the Philippines, the overall games’ champion.
With only beach handball as the remaining event to be played early Wednesday, the games are officially closed when the flames which burned for 12 days atop the cauldron are extinguished and the SEA Games flag is turned over to next host, Vietnam.
A message from Philippine Olympic Committee President and Tagaytay Rep. Bambol Tolentino will highlight the official declaration of the closing of the games, with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea extinguishing the cauldron’s fire and turning over the hosting responsibilities to Vietnamese officials.
The Philippines is running away with the overall championship of the games only for the second time in history with an unofficial loot of 145 golds, 114 silvers and 116 bronzes, for a total of 375 medals.
During the “Miracle of 2005,” Filipinos won the overall games’ championship for the first time with a haul of 112-85-93. Vietnam (92-85-103) and Thailand (91-97-122) are neck to neck in the race for runner-up honors with only a gold separating the two.
Indonesia (71-80-108) and Malaysia (53-57-71) round out the top five.
Apl.de.ap and the Black Eyed Peas will lead the performers at center of the stadium, with Arnel Pineda singing the Philippine national anthem. Classic rock band KO Jones and Pineda’s band, Journey, will also entertain the crowd with a 20-minute set each.
A 45-minute drone show will fill the NCC sky, to be followed by the parade of athletes.
Surfing champion Roger Casugay will carry the Philippine flag this time around.
Casugay got the honor after he saved the life of his drowning Indonesian rival Arip Nuirhidyat during surfing competitions last week in La Union.
All SEA Games’ volunteers will be acknowledged in the program in recognition of their efforts to help get the competitions organized.
Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee Chairman Alan Peter Cayetano will hand out four special awards, namely Best Male and Female Athletes, Fair Play, and the Overall Championship.
In the penultimate day of competition Tuesday, Filipinos continued their dominance on several fronts.
In the centerpiece event of athletics, Aries Toledo delivered the sport’s 11th gold after a 15.03-second run in the 110-meter hurdles of decathlon at the New Clark City stadium.
Before Toledo’s feat, Eric Cray concluded a roller-coaster ride by retaining the gold medal in his favorite event, the men’s 400-meter hurdles.
Cray, who started the his campaign on the wrong foot with a false start and a disqualification in the 100-meter heats, clocked 50.21seconds when he reached the finish line, almost two seconds short of the 49.40 performance he had when he won it for the first time back in 2015.
“This gives me back the love and the excitement that I needed on the track after being down on myself,” said Cray, who also won the gold two years ago in 50.03 seconds.
The Philippines ended its campaign in the shooting competition by winning a gold and a silver medal at the Ilanin Forest in Subic.
The men’s trap team of Carlos Carag, Eric Ang and Alexander Topacio pieced together scores of 23-24-24-20-24 for a five-round total of 338, giving the Philippines its third gold medal in the discipline.
Carag returned later and settled for a silver medal in the men’s Trap (shotgun) finals with 41 points behind Thailand’s Savate Sresthaporn, who topped the event with 44.
The Philippines also ruled the men’s team competition and completed a sweep of the gold medals at stake in soft tennis at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
Joseph Arcilla led the team to a 2-1 victory over Thailand, scoring a 4-1 win over Yannarit Kawin.
Mikoff Manduriao and Dheo Talatayod then edged Sujaritplee Teerapat and Songweera Torlarp, 5-3, in the final doubles’ match for the gold.
The Philippines lost in the first doubles match, with Noel Damian and Mark Anthony Alcoseba bowing to Thansiriroj Sakan and Surarak Thanarit, 3-5.
The Philippines also won the women’s singles’ gold and the women’s team gold.
Led by Meggie Ochoa, the hosts, who bagged three gold medals to take the early lead in the jiu-jitsu competition Monday at the Laus Events Center in Angeles, Pampanga, added two more on Tuesday, courtesy of Adrian Guggenheim (77kgs) and Annie Ramirez (55kgs).
The Metro Manila Development Authority advised motorists to brace for heavy traffic today (Dec. 11) along EDSA and other main thoroughfares caused by the closing ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
The closing ceremony will be held at the New Clark Athletics Stadium in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac at 5 pm.
At least 114 buses and other types of vehicles with SEA Games delegates aboard will travel from different billeting hotels around Metro Manila en route to New Clark Athletics Stadium after lunch time.
The convoy will use the yellow lane when traveling along EDSA.
Traffic personnel are also positioned in key areas in the metropolis to guide motorists and facilitate the movement of the convoy.
Also on Tuesday, the Palace welcomed the Ombudsman’s announcement of an investigation into the alleged irregularities in the hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
“I think the Ombudsman is responding to the reports of certain irregularities and that is the task of the Ombudsman, it can initiate on its own or motu propio investigate any complaint of irregularities even without a complainant complaining about it,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said. With Joel E. Zurbano and MJ Blancaflor
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.