Philippines protests lost gold at Myanmar SEAGames

Updated 26 December 2013
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Philippines protests lost gold at Myanmar SEAGames

MANILA: The Philippines said Monday it had protested a decision by officials at the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar to strip a Filipino swimmer of her gold medal, the latest controversy surrounding the games.
The move comes after the Philippines questioned the huge number of obscure sports at the Myanmar games which seem designed to ensure that the host countries and its allies reap the most medals.
The Philippine Olympic Committee in a statement said it had sent a letter asking that Filipino swimmer Jasmine Alkhaldi be given back her gold.
Alkhaldi, 20, won the 100 meter freestyle on Thursday, but it was quickly taken back after Thailand protested, saying there had been a “false start.”
A re-swim was then ordered the following day, in which Alkhaldi came in third behind athletes from Thailand and Singapore, respectively.
A member of the Philippines’ SEAGames task force said the “re-swim” had put the Filipino at a disadvantage.
“You cannot regain that adrenaline from the first final swim. The momentum of our athletes was diminished,” said task force member Paul Ycasas.
The head of the Philippine mission to the Myanmar games Jeff Tamayo also said the order for a “re-swim” did not follow the rules set up by FINA (International Swimming Federation), the sport’s governing body.
“The settlement of Thailand’s protest by calling for a re-swim is simply out of order,” Tamayo said in a statement.
The Philippines’ head swimming coach, Carlos Brosas also charged that Singaporeans who dominate the region’s swimming federation, had favored the “re-swim” and had already advised him that the Philippines’ protest would be unsuccessful.
“The guys that really run the show, the bigwigs so to speak, are Singaporeans,” Brosas said in a statement from Myanmar.
He said Friday’s “re-swim” had benefitted the Singaporeans as well which may explain why they favored it.
The Philippines lags at seventh in the medal tally at the 27th SEAGames with only 10 golds so far, said Ycasas.
The country had dispatched a contingent of only 210 to Myanmar, one of its smallest ever to the competition, due to the large number of obscure games and the removal of more popular sports.
Philippine sports officials had previously considered sending only a “token” group or even boycotting the Myanmar games entirely.


Underdogs with bite and sloppy South Korea: What we learned from the Asian Cup second round

Updated 23 January 2019
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Underdogs with bite and sloppy South Korea: What we learned from the Asian Cup second round

  • Can the mighty minnows continue impressive run in the UAE?
  • Or will the big guns start to fire in quarterfinals?

LONDON: Asia’s biggest sporting spectacle has reached its quarterfinal stage — and it’s time for teams to find their A-game. While there are few surprises in the last-eight lineup, the form of some of the big-name sides has been less than impressive. Here we deliver our verdict on the second round.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT — Saudi Arabia’s attack

The Green Falcons started the tournament at top speed. They came in as one of the cup favorites and in their opening two matches illustrated why. A 4-0 thrashing of North Korea was backed up with a relatively simple 2-0 victory over Lebanon. Understandably, that raised hopes that Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men could go all the way in the UAE. Alas, it was not to be as a 2-0 defeat to Qatar in their last group clash left them with a tricky tie against Japan. For all their efforts Saudi Arabia were unable to find the back of the net, the lack of firepower upfront costing Pizzi’s team yet again.



BIGGEST SHOCK — South Korean sloppiness

Boosted by the arrival of Tottenham star Son Heung-Min, South Korea were rightly declared the pre-tournament favorites. They had firepower up front, intelligence and creativity in midfield, and experience at the back. In the four matches in the UAE so far, however, they have looked anything but potential champions. They labored to beat Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines and China in the group stage before almost being shocked by part-timers Bahrain in the second round. South Korea now face Qatar in the last eight and, as Son said after their extra-time win over Bahrain, they need to significantly improve if they are to avoid a shock exit before the semis.



UNDER PRESSURE — Alberto Zaccheroni and the UAE



The Whites owe their place in the last eight to luck more than skill. In some ways that is not a surprise — the hosts came into the tournament without their talisman, the injured Omar Abdulrahman, and on the back of a patchy run of form. But, still, the performances on home soil have been underwhelming to say the least. That was summed up with their extra-time win over Kyrgyzstan, who were playing in their first Asian Cup. It was a far-from-convincing performance and Central Asians were unlucky not to beat Zaccheroni’s side. The UAE will have to deliver their best performance for some time if they are to progress further. Their opponents, Australia, have also performed poorly, which may offer them some encouragement.



BEST HIGHLIGHT — The mighty minnows

The big guns have not had it all their own way. That may annoy their fans, but it does show that Asian football is improving. Only a few years ago the idea that Kyrgyzstan, Bahrain and Jordan would look the equals of Australia and Co. would have seemed fanciful. But in the past two weeks the standard shown by the so-called lesser lights has been impressive — and great to watch. Last summer five Asian teams appeared at the World Cup for the first time and it was hoped that showing would act as a springboard for further progress across the continent. On the evidence of the action in the UAE that wish could be coming true.

 

PREDICTIONS