HANGZHOU—With Team Philippines only able to show a silver and four bronze medals after five days of hostilities in the 19th Asian Games, Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richard Bachmann doesn’t feel the need to push the panic button yet.
More will come, he said.
“We’re still hoping, we’re still confident that we will beat our four golds during our last Asian Games,” said the PSC chief in a short interview on Wednesday with Filipino scribes covering the games.
The Philippines finished with four gold medals in the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, courtesy of Olympic gold medalist weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, skateboarder Margielyn Didal and golfer Yuka Saso, who won the individual title before teaming up with Lois Kaye Go and Bianca Pagdanganan for the team crown.
Of the four, Didal was the first to fall and failed to defend her Asian Games title here. Only Go is left of the golfers, while Diaz, who made a living in the 55-kg division, is moving up in unfamiliar territory at 59 kgs.
But Bachmann is unfazed.
“I was with Ricky Vargas last night, who told me he believes boxing can give two gold medals. I am also looking at EJ Obiena (of pole vault), I’m looking at Alex (Eala of tennis), other athletes, who can pull off a surprise and we still have weightlifting as well.”
But Bachmann emphasized the PSC treats all athletes equally, not just the medal prospects.
“What we’re all doing now is going around, watching a full game, be it with a no medal or medal chance, we’re showing support to everyone,” the chairman added.
“We arrived yesterday, we went to football as well to get it over with and see one game at least. There’s also dragonboat but I’m still thinking if I will still go back because malayo talaga.
Cycling, I wanna go also. I also used to do triathlons and I love cycling as well. So hopefully I get to go out. But when it comes to point na sabay-sabay na lahat, we’ll be splitting already.
Because so far in the past few days, sabay-sabay kami palagi.
“I guess now, with commissioner Fritz Gaston later, then we would split. Maybe Paulo (Tatad) can go with commissioner Fritz and I’ll go on my own.”
The chairman also vowed to be with the athletes all through the Asiad.
“I’ll be staying here all the way to the end. I will be back for maybe a week or two break, then I’ll be back for the Asian Para Games,” he said.