HANOI—The biggest Filipino contingent for the 31st Southeast Asian Games is scheduled to check in on Tuesday with the Philippine Sports Commission on hand to facilitate their arrival and have them comfortably settled two days before the opening ceremony of the 11-nation sportsfest.
A large wave of athletes led by 2019 SEA Games multiple medalist and world champion gymnast Carlos Edriel Yulo will step foot here in Vietnam together with the highly admired women’s volleyball team featuring its top celebrities Alyssa Valdez, Aby Maraño and Jaja Santiago.
Yulo, who brought along his Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya, won two gold medals and five silvers in men’s artistic gymnastics back in Manila 2019 and is expected to deliver again for Team Philippines.
“We are ready to receive our athletes and coaches and extend the assistance they need once they arrive here. They have to be free of distractions so they can focus on their respective competitions ahead,’’ said PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, the chef de mission of Team Philippines.
Women’s volleyball and men’s volleyball have a total headcount of 38 players and officials while gymnastics has 22 athletes and coaches comprising the 193 members of the delegation set to arrive on Tuesday.
Filipino athletes and officials from badminton (19), bodybuilding (13), fencing (28), table tennis (17), tennis (12), athletics (8), wushu (17), and one swimmer will likewise depart from Manila on the same day along with the PSC medical team (6) and members of the media (12).
Already settled in the Vietnamese capital and have moved to their respective billeting areas are athletes from kickboxing, handball, men’s and women’s football, rowing, chess, kurash, pencak silat, men’s 3×3 basketball, women’s basketball, golf, and triathlon/duathlon.
The main bulk of track and field athletes and officials (50) will be here on Wednesday, including pole vault Asian record holder Ernest John Obiena.
Joining them are Philippine entries from esports (25), billiards (10), bowling (13), cycling (16), golf (2), jiujitsu (9), and swimming (3).