Chef de Mission Mon Fernandez represents PH at SEA Games closing rites

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FILE – Team Philippines Chef de Mission and PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez lead the members of the Philippine delegation in the #SEAGames31 Team Welcome Ceremony at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam. PSC PHOTO

HANOI—Team Philippines chef de mission Ramon Fernandez is representing the Philippine delegation Monday for the closing ceremonies of the 31st Southeast Asian Games at My Dinh National Stadium here.

With most of the Philippine team members headed home or already home, Fernandez was to be joined by his deputies Carl Sambrano and Pear Managuelod of rollersports and Muay Thai, respectively, at the closing affair to be closed by Vietnam Sports, Culture and Tourism Minister Nguyen Van Hung.

Also joining the event are Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, who was to extinguish the Games Flame, as the curtain wrung down on the 31st edition of the biennial sports showcase held in the Vietnamese capital and neighboring provinces.

The SEA Games Federation flag will likewise be lowered and handed over to the representative of Cambodia, which will host the 32nd SEA Games in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh in May 2023.

The regional meet was supposed to be held last November but was delayed for six months due to the spike in COVID-19 cases that swept the region.

Sorely affected by the virus crisis was the build-up of the country’s campaigners, who fought an uphill but gallant battle in winding up fourth overall in the medal standings with 52 gold, 70 silver and 104 bronze medals.

As expected, Vietnam ran away with overall honors(205-125-116), Thailand was a distant second (92-103-136) and Indonesia third (69-91-81).

“We finished fourth place among 11 brother-countries in the region. This is our best finish since 1983 (in the Singapore SEA Games when we placed second to Indonesia) in a SEA Games event outside the Philippines,” Fernandez said.

As one of his last functions as the head of the Philippine delegation, the PSC official attended the final CDM meeting the previous day where Cambodian CDM Soksival Nhan thanked the Vietnamese organizers for their warm hospitality in the running of the Games.

“Nhan extended his personal invitation in welcoming all of the other 10 participating countries to the 32nd SEA Games in Phnom Pehn next year,” Fernandez said, adding that he would stay until today to see that all the PH team members are safely on their way back home before boarding his own flight back to Manila.

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