TOKYO—Showing that its overall championship in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games was no fluke, the Philippines leads the region in the Olympic medal tally side by side with traditional powerhouse Thailand.
The Filipinos and the Thais are locked with six other countries which have so far won one gold medal each in the quadrennial meet where China, host Japan and the US are jostling for the top three positions.
Thailand and Philippines are tied at 26th spot with Bermuda, Ecuador, Fiji, Iran, Norway and Uzbekistan with a gold and bronze each.
Thailand’s Panipak Wongpattanakit topped taekwondo’s women’s -49 kgs class to keep the Thais at par with the Filipino athletes, who are already guaranteed of a bronze medal following Nesthy Petecio’s entry into boxing’s women’s featherweight semifinals.
The Philippines on Monday won its first gold in the Olympiad courtesy of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz.
Indonesia was the only other Southeast Asian country on the medal tally board with one silver—Eko Yuli Irawan (men’s 61 kgs)—and one bronze—Windy Cantika Aisah (women’s 49 kgs), both in weightlifting.
Thailand is the most successful among the Southeast Asian countries in the Olympics with 10 gold, eight silver and 16 bronze medals, followed by Indonesia with 7-14-13 (gold-silver-bronze) and the Philippines with 1-3-7.
As of late afternoon on Wednesday, China led the medals table with 11-5-8, followed by Japan with 11-4-5 and the US with 10-11-9. The Russian Olympic Committee was next with 7-8-4 and Australia with 6-1-8.