The South East Asian Games were considered both a spectacular event and a valuable opportunity for athletes to gain competition experience and preparation for the upcoming Asian Games and Olympic Games. It was purposely created to strengthen friendship, solidarity and understanding among neighboring countries in the region. The 26th South East Asian Games, formerly known as “South East Asian Peninsula Games”, was held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia last 11th till 22nd of November 2011.
It is the fourth time Indonesia hosted the SEA Games since its last, in 1997. The 26th South East Asian Games was officially opened by the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Pres. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the opening ceremony which took place at Kuto Besak Fort in Palembang, South Sumatra. Susi Susanti was the event’s Torch Lighter. The Athlete’s Oath was led by Dedeh Herawati while the Judge’s Oath was led by Eko Sunarto. 11 nations joined the biennial multi-sport event which had around 9000 athlete participants.
There were a total of 545 events in 44 sports such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, and track. The Games were officially closed last November 22, 2011 by the Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia at the closing ceremony that took place at Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium, Palembang. It was during 1977 when our country was finally admitted in the SEAP Games Federation in February of that year. The Philippines has its lowest medal haul in 10 years in the recently held SEA Games.
But during the 23rd South East Asian Games, wherein we were the host country, we became the over-all champion where we won 291 medals all in all. This was the peak of our country’s performance in 10 years. This season however, our country has sent 512 athletes to the Games and it was said that there were 169 medals brought home by our athletes. 36 of which were gold medals, 56 were silver medals, and 77 were bronze medals. It was said that the performance of the Philippine team in 2011 SEA Games is now the worst after ten years.
Fortunately, the Philippines sweeps the Softball event winning both Men’s and Women’s Division. Philippine Sinag Team earns their 15th overall medal in the Men’s Basketball. On the second day of the competitions, Marestella Torres broke the SEA Games Record she made in the 2009 Southeast Asian Games by registering 6. 71 m in the Women’s Long Jump. In 2013, the 27th South East Asian Games will be held with Singapore as the host country.