Most of the athletes that will compete in the Southeast Asian Games are members of military, including London Olympians Rene Herrera and Hidilyn Diaz and Asian weightlifting winner Jeff Garcia.
Herrera, Diaz and Garcia will spearhead the country’s’ medal campaign in the 27th edition of the 11-nation biennial meet which commences on December 11-22 in Myanmar.
Herrera, also World Athletics veteran, is seeking his sixth straight gold medal in steeplechase since 2003 in Vietnam while two-time Olympian Diaz and Garcia along with World weightlifting campaigner Nestor Colonia will anchor wrestling.
Two-time Olympian and SEA Games long jump queen Marestella Torres is skipping the SEAG as she is expecting to deliver her first child with husband fellow athlete Eliezer Sunang.
Herrera is one of 21 athletes from the Navy which also include wushu gold medalist Dembert Arcita and wrestling winner Jason Balabal.
Balabal is currently training for three months in Iran with five other wrestlers under an Iranian coach.
Among the prominent soldiers bound for SEA Games include veteran Olympian Eduardo Buenavista, Arniel Ferrera, Junel Cantancio, Joebert Delicano, mountain biker Eusebio Quinones and former marathon champion Julius Sermona. (Clyde Mariano)