Metro Manila, Philippines – The Philippines on Sunday ended its campaign in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China at 17th place, after earning four gold medals and making sports history.

This edition of the tournament was held from Sept. 23 to Oct. 8. The Philippines sent 391 athletes to competeFilipino athletes took home four golds, two silvers, and 12 bronze medals, ranking 17th out of 41 countries.

This year’s placing is the Philippines’ best Asian Games performance since the 1994 Asian Games in Japan 29 years ago, when Filipino athletes secured 14th place with three golds, two silvers, and eight bronze medals.

“The 19th Asian Games have been an incredible display of talent and determination from our Filipino athletes. Our four gold, two silver and 12 bronze medals, partnered with the tremendous commitment of each athlete in their respective sports, have made our nation proud,” Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Richard Bachmann said on the last day of the games.

Four years ago, at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia, the Philippines ranked 19th out of 37 nations with four golds, two silvers, and 15 bronze medals.

The Philippines’ highest Asiad rankings came consecutively at the 1954 Games in Manila and then at the 1958 Games in Tokyo, when it ranked second overall in both years.

Historic wins

Two Filipino athletes who competed in this year’s games, ace pole vaulter EJ Obiena and Olympian boxer Eumir Marcial, secured tickets to the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics through dominant runs in their respective sports.

Obiena, the second best pole vaulter in the world, won the Philippines’ first gold medal in the quadrennial games. Marcial, meanwhile, settled for silver in the men’s 75 kg boxing tournament.

Two grapplers, Meggie Ochoa and Annie Ramirez, reigned supreme in the women’s -47 kg and -57 kg jiu-jitsu competitions, respectively, and delivered two gold medals for the Philippines.

Last Friday, Gilas Pilipinas was crowned champion in the 5×5 men’s basketball tournament after beating Jordan, 70-60. This was the national team’s first gold medal in the Asian games since 1962, or 61 years ago.