JAKARTA, Indonesia – Twelve of the Philippines' 18 medals in the 2018 Asian Games have been delivered by female athletes.
And it's a statistic that Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas certainly noticed as the country's four gold medals were all delivered by the Filipina fighters.
"Female athletes are fantastic. We came to the Asian Games with a 50-50 [male-female ratio, yet] they're winning, 70-75% of all our medals," said Vargas.
It's the first time that the country has sent a virtually 50-50 gender ratio to the continental games. (LIVE UPDATES and MEDAL TALLY: 2018 Asian Games)
Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz was the first to capture a Philippine gold medal in the weightlifting competition. Four days later, Yuka Saso secured the gold in the individual golf and also led the national women's golf team of bronze medalist Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go for the team gold.
Margielyn Didal also topped the inaugural Asian Games skateboard competition in the women's street event.
"She's really the person that should carry our flag. She's the epitome of a true Filipina that went for it, a true Filipino," Vargas said of the Cebuana.
Kiyomi Watanabe also made history for Philippine judo as the 22-year-old judoka took home the sport's first Asiad medal, as well as the country's first silver in the quadrennial games.
Vargas, though, hopes that more medals will come the Philippines' way as as Rogen Ladon, Carlos Paalam and Eumir Marcial fight for a spot in the gold-medal round on Friday, August 31.
Another gold medal will give the Philippines its best Asiad output since winning seven gold medals in the 1962 edition. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.