DARWIN (May 25) — Twenty-two Filipino athletes that participated in the Arafura Games 2009, now recognised as a leading international sporting competition for the developing athletes of the Asia Pacific region, won three gold, four silver and 15 bronze medals in various sports categories.
Highlights of the performances by Philippine athletes include:
- Jorge Pinanonang won gold in the men’s 400m hurdles Open. He also scored bronze in the men’s 400m Dash Open.
- Arolas Amahit Jr. and Ralph Ian mendez won gold in the men’s Doubles in Badminton. Mendez also won silver in the Men’s Singles with Amahit taking bronze in the same event.
- Macy Solon won the third gold medal for the Philippine team. She won in the Women’s Open Singles in the Tennis. Solon also won a bronze in the Women’s Open Doubles with team mate Alcina Ximenes.
- Allan Jovero may not have won gold in the pool but he certainly swam well enough to take home four bronze and two silver medals. He won silver in the Boys 17 & Over 100m Backstroke and Boys 17 & Over 50m Butterfly, and bronze in Boys 17 & Over 100m Freestyle, Boys 17 & Over 100m Butterfly, Boys 17 & Over 50m Backstroke and Boys 17 & Over 50m Freestyle.
- Haroon Call also won silver in the pool in the Boys 17 & Over 50m Backstroke and bronze in the Boys 22m Butterfly and the Boys 17 & Over 200m IM.
The Games, which was held beginning May 9 and ended 17, is held every two years here, the capital of the Northern Territory of Australia. It is billed as a meeting of “Sporting Neighbours” and attracts competitors from all parts of Australia, nations throughout the Asia Pacific and beyond.
Unlike the Olympic Games or a World Championship, the Arafura Games is not an event pitched at the world’s most elite athletes. The Games is a development Games for the athletes of its region to use as a stepping stone. As such, competition is offered to regional and development teams to mix with national teams and experience the quality of an international event.
The countries of the region are invited to come together as friends and sporting neighbours to compete in a competitive sporting environment. The Arafura Games is a vessel through which friendship and goodwill between competing nations can be fostered and strengthened.
The Arafura Games not only offers competition and development opportunities for athletes but also endeavours to be of benefit to coaches, administrators, officials and other support staff. At every Games, opportunities such as accredited conferences, coaching and officiating courses are offered. In addition, the Arafura Games conducts an ‘Adopt a Country’ program throughout Northern Territory schools.