DARWIN, Australia - The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is satisfied with the performance of the athletes who competed in the 2019 Arafura Games.
All 91 athletes who participated in the Arafura Games, most of which are top performers in different regions of the country, captured medals with the Philippines ending up with 31 golds, 51 silvers, and 34 bronzes.
PSC national training director Marc Velasco said the competition allowed the regional athletes to gain the much-needed international exposure that will be beneficial for them as they look to become national athletes in the future.
Velasco said the country's participation in the Arafura Games is also part of grassroots development program of the PSC led by chairman William Ramirez where top performers in the Batang Pinoy, Philippine National Games, and Palarong Pambansa saw action.
"Overall, we are very happy and I think the chairman is very satisfied with our performance," said Manzano.
"It goes to show that you give a chance to our regional athletes, it would pay dividends in the long run," said Velasco. "The athletes really competed and did their best. They gave their all."
Velasco also lauded the sportsmanship traits of the Filipino athletes, particularly track and field athlete Abegail Manzano and muay athlete Ariel Lee Lampacan.
Manzano, who captured the country's first gold in this edition of the Arafura Games after ruling the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase, gave away her silver medal in the women's 800-meter run to Makayla Siddons of Northern Territory after the Australian finished second in the race but was disqualified for lane infringement.
Due to the disqualification, Manzano, who finished third in the race, won the silver due to Siddons' disqualification.
Lampacan, meanwhile, won the sportsmanship award in the muay competition after capturing the silver medal.
"The Philippines was cited in the muay competition and the Athletes Australia recognized her (Manzano) unselfish attitude towards her fellow competitor."