Some National sports associations (NSA) leaders yesterday made bold predictions about their performance in the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in August in hopes of getting the support of the Philippine Sports Commission.
Among them was gymnastics president Cynthia Carrion, who assured the PSC of winning three gold medals once 16-year-old Carlos Edrien Yulo gets the go-signal from Kuala Lumpur organizers to compete in the prestigious biennial conclave.
Richard Fernandez of shooting, for his part, said Filipino shooters could bring home at least four medals of any color.
Robert Bachmann of squash was more precise in his forecast, expecting two gold, three silver and four bronze medals in nine events.
Philip Ella Juico, chief of medal-rich athletics, initially vowed to harvest 10 gold medals.
But he backtracked, saying it's quite early to make a prognosis.
"Many things can still happen from now until the SEA Games. It's too early to tell,’’ said Juico during the PSC directional meeting yesterday at Tagaytay Highlands.
"You have to see the performance of the opponents as against the progress of our athletes before you can really make a prediction."
A consistent gold mine for Team Philippines, athletics offers 46 gold medals in the 11-nation meet while gymnastics and shooting have 20 and 14 events, respectivley.
Carrion will appeal to the Southeast Asian Games Federation to reset the age limit of participating gymnasts to 17 years old from 18.
Yulo, an artistic gymnast who clinched the individual all-around bronze medal in the Voronin Cup in Moscow, Russia, will turn 17 before the SEA Games.
The PSC said NSAs should aim for at least fifth overall after winding up sixth in the previous edition behind Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.