The Philippines entered 1,115 Athletes and 753 Coaches and officials, which is the biggest number of delegation in the 30th Sea Games.
The 1,868 Filipino contingent will lead Indonesia, which has the is the second biggest delegation with 1,702, including a big number of self-funded athletes and officials.
To the surprise of many, Singapore entered the third biggest delegation with 1,591 followed by Thailand with 1,473, Malaysia with 1,076, followed by Myanmar with 952.
Vietnam, the next host of the SEA Games in 2021 is ranked 7th in terms of number of delegation with 890 as it did not field athletes in most team events, except in football, volleyball and men’s basketball.
Cambodia, the host of the 2023 SEA Games, fielded 510, followed by Laos with 419, Brunei with 257 and Timor Leste with 221.
Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) officials say that the final number of entries may still go down in the delegation registration meeting on November 19.
A total of 530 gold medals will be at stake in 56 sports in the 30th SEA Games.
The Philippines eyes to finish in the top three among the 11 countries competing in the SEA Games.
Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Butch Ramirez, who is also the Chief of Mission of the Philippine Delegation, believes that Team Philippines will perform well in the 30th biennial games.
Ramirez said that according to assessments and medal projections made by national sports association or NSA officials, Team Philippines is capable of winning 90 to 100 gold medals.
Ramirez said that the PSC board has approved all funds for the exposures and training of all the SEA Games-bound athletes to prepare them well for the biennial games.
“The PSC spent for all the training, especially the foreign exposures of the athletes for the SEA Games,” Ramirez said. “We hope to find Olympic-grade athletes from them as well as the Tokyo Games are also just around the corner.
Meanwhile, former POC president Jose Peping Cojuangco felt slighted by a statement made by a Malaysian Sports leader insinuating that the Philippines used its home court advantage to win the overall championship in the 2005 SEA Games.
Cojuangco, who was the POC president at that time challenged the Malaysian official to prove his allegation.