June 7, 2023

Cordilleran national athletes are hoping that arnis and obstacle course racing (OCR) games will be included in the 2021 Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.
As host of the 31st SEA Games, Vietnam has initially scaled down the games from the 56 events hosted by the Philippines in 2019 to 36 games.
Gold medalist Sandi Menchi Abahan hopes OCR would be included in the final list of games as this is one of the sports where Filipinos have the potential to bag a gold medal.
Abahan, who won gold in OCR in the 30th SEAG and also a triathlete, said she is training continuously while waiting for update. She is currently joining virtual races, such as World OCR and Spartan races, since the pandemic. 
Arnis, another gold medal mine for Filipino athletes, was also scrapped from the list.
Gold medalist Crisamuel Delfin said they are waiting for an update from the Philippine Escrima and Kali Arnis Federation on their request to Vietnam to include the event.
Delfin, who won the men’s anyo non-traditional event, is also busy training during the lockdown.
The Philippine Arnis Team won 14 gold, six silver, and two bronze medals, the best performing Filipino squad so far in the SEA Games history. Players from Baguio and Benguet accounted for three golds, a silver, and a bronze.
Members of the Philippine Arnis Team from Baguio who won medals in last year’s SEA Games are Abegail Abad, gold; Billy Joel Valenzuel, silver; and Eza Rai Yalong, bronze.
Philippine Olympics Committee chief Bembol Tolentino continues to lobby for the inclusion of the events including duathlon and triathlon, which the country has dominated in the latest SEA Games edition. – Ofelia C. Empian