Gilas Pilipinas won one of the gold medals of the Philippines at the 32nd SEA Games

Team Philippines Closes 2023 SEA Games with 58 Gold Medals

With 58 gold medals, the 32nd SEA Games is one of the Philippines’ best overseas performances in the last four decades.

860 athletes were sent to Cambodia to compete in the 32nd Southeast Asia Games β€” the country’s second-highest athlete delegation that saw their national athletes compete in every event.

And the talents donning the Philippine flag have certainly carried their weight, as they will be coming home with a collection of 58 gold medals, 85 silvers, and 117 bronzes.

With this performance, the Philippines closes their campaign in fifth place, behind overall champions Vietnam and runners-up Thailand, followed by Cambodia and Indonesia.

Team Philippines athletes celebrate their medals at the ceremonies of the 2023 SEA Games
The closing ceremonies of the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia. (Photo credit: Cambodia 2023 on Facebook)

Despite not finishing in the top three, this marks the country’s best overseas gold-medal haul in 36 years, since bagging 59 gold medals in the 1987 edition of the Games. Its best-ever finish came when the nation hosted the regional tournament in 2019, finishing with 149 gold medals.

Coming home with a total of 260 medals, Team Philippines certainly has a lot of moments from the 32nd SEA Games to remember. Here are just some of the biggest highlights from the Games:

Three-peats by EJ Obiena and Carlos Yulo

EJ Obiena and Carlos Yulo are two dominant medal collectors in the SEA Games.

This year, Obiena captured his third straight gold medal in the pole vault event, clearing his own 5.46-meter record with a clearance of 5.65 meters.

Yulo, on the other hand, also bagged his third straight gold medal in the Games from the men’s individual all-around event. On top of this, he also went four-for-four, winning medals in each of the events he competed in.

Gilas: The redeem team

Gilas Pilipinas are the kings of Southeast Asia once again.

After a statement 80-69 win over Cambodia in the final match of the 5×5 men’s basketball tournament, the Philippine team regained their SEA Games title. This was a huge victory for the Gilas men after losing a surprising silver medal finish in the last edition of the Games, and on top of this, after losing to the same team, 68-79, in the group stage of this year’s tournament.

Final fighters

It felt like Team Philippines’ momentum in the final days of the SEA Games was really on the move, care of the country’s fighters.

Athletes competing in various martial arts disciplines, including arnis, kickboxing, and wrestling accumulated a total of 10 gold medals in the last two days of the tournament. In addition, Filipino taekwondo and arnis representatives also accounted for the most golds in the tournament, closing the Games with six each.

Esports haul

Following Sibol’s bronze medal finish in the PUBG Mobile tournament lifted the Philippines esports athletes to their highest tally of medals in the tournament.

With victories in various disciplines including two golds from Mobile Legends and Wild Rift, a silver in Mobile Legends, and three bronze medals from Crossfire, PUBG Mobile, and VALORANT, Sibol tallied a total of six medals, accounting for one medal from every event the team participated in.

Of course, out of the nation’s total of 260 medals from the 32nd SEA Games, those mentioned only account for some of the incredible talents that contributed to Team Philippines this year. With their fifth-place finish and a successful gold medal haul, there is much for the country to celebrate.

Banner image from SBP.

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