Sun.Star Davao

History, tradition in SEA Games

- AL S. MENDOZA also147@yahoo.com

IF you are still surprised over the yawning gap that Vietnam has establishe­d over its foes in the ongoing SEA Games in Hanoi, then either you don’t know your history or have totally forgotten about tradition.

So, listen up, class.

Vietnam has 126 gold medals thus far and, with an outrageous margin of 73 golds over second-running Thailand, you think the host country can still lose?*

Only the fool on the hill will say, yes.

With three days left in the Games ending May 23, there’s no mathematic­al possibilit­y Vietnam’s lead could be overhauled.

Not even Pythagoras the algebra legend would have the formula for Thailand to produce tons of gold to overtake Vietnam.

For it to happen, Thailand must churn out at least 80 gold medals in the next 72 hours to erase Vietnam’s 73 gold-medal advantage.

Only in the movies.

Only in our wildest dreams.

Only the fool on the hill can believe.

History tells us that in the last 30 editions of the biennial SEA Games, the host has literally the sole power to choose events to be staged in the two-week meet.

It’s a tradition as insane as a voodoo-driven witchcraft stuff.

It’s like seeing someone throw a birthday party and next watching the celebrator eat his cake all by himself. The guests crazily clapping in glee in celebratio­n of tradition that’s been historical­ly, stupidly, in place for ages.

And so, we can’t complain if we are running third in Hanoi with 38 gold medals as of May 19.

That’s 88 atrocious golds behind Vietnam.

If this were a bike race, we’ve barely entered SLEX Alabang but the leader is already in Leni Robredo’s hometown of Naga nearly 500 kms away, just a stone’s throw from the finish line in Legazpi City.

And look, we are 15 gold medals behind Thailand (52 golds).

Only a miracle now can make us dislodge the Thais. We can’t complain. The same tradition made us SEA Games champion with a similar ocean-wide margin in the meet’s last staging in Manila in 2019.

Pray we maintain our third spot as we are merely one gold medal ahead of Singapore (37 golds) and two over Indonesia (36).

A third-place finish would be a “vast” improvemen­t of our sixth-place windup the last time we did battle overseas in the 11-nation Games.

The fool on the hill agrees – gladly.

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