A Look at our Winning Filipino Athletes at the 31st SEA Games and What Helped Fuel this #ThirstForGold

MANILA, Philippines—Waving the Filipino flag proudly, Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, Asia’s best pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena and the Philippine Women’s National Football Team fueled their #ThirstForGold at the recently concluded 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam with Summit Natural Drinking Water behind their backs with every lift, leap and kick.

It was in April when Summit ambassadors Diaz and Obiena, together with the Filipinas, along with the brand, reinforced its partnership with Philippine Olympic Committee, highlighting its commitment to support the athletes and the rest of the SEA Games-bound Philippine contingent.

Of note, long before Diaz and Obiena entered the pantheon of Filipino sports icons, Summit has been backing their respective journeys, with the same kind of devotion the brand is now giving the Filipinas.

Hidilyn Diaz

Image courtesy of Summit Natural Drinking Water

Hidilyn Diaz has come a long way from being a wildcard weightlifting entry in the 2008 Beijing Games, a silver medal achiever in the 2016 Rio Olympics and then a gold medalist in the women’s -55kg of the Tokyo Olympiad in 2021.

Diaz, however, isn’t done yet. The Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi was the beginning of a new Olympic journey, which the athlete marked with a 55-kg weightlifting gold at the Hanoi Sports Training and Competition Center, saying the appearance in the regional sports competition was essential in her bid to
make it to the Paris Olympiad.

“My journey towards Paris (Olympics) starts here, so this SEA Games gold is very important for me,” said the 31-year-old Diaz of her #ThirstForGold. “Napaka-meaningful nito (SEAG). After winning the gold medal, bumalik pa din ako, nakapag-deliver ng gold medal for the Philippines. Masaya ako na nandito ulet ako sa SEA Games, na i-represent ang Pilipinas.”

Summit, which officially made Diaz one of its ambassadors in 2018, has been supporting the Olympic champion since, in terms of training and hydration, as the brand believes in her persistence, motivation, and capacity in achieving a gold.

To commemorate her success story, Summit Natural Drinking Water is launching Summit Labels featuring Hidilyn Diaz in 350ml, 500ml and 1L formats and Sports Bottles in 500ml format, which you can now get in leading stores nationwide.

EJ Obiena

Image courtesy of Summit Natural Drinking Water

EJ Obiena joined Team Summit after his quick rise in the pole-vaulting scene following various triumphs and record-breaking feats – from the Diamond League to the Olympics and recently in the Vietnam SEA Games, where he smashed his own 2019 record of 5.45 meters with 5.46 to clinch a second straigh pole vault gold in the regional meet.

“I’m relieved and happy to win the gold. I came here as a favorite and finally delivered,” said Obiena, his #ThirstForGold visible with his every leap. “Mission accomplished.”

Obiena, Team Philippines’ flag-bearer in the SEA Games as a proof of his status as a world-class athlete, looked good obliterating the field in just two leaps, but according to his Italian physiotherapist Antonio Guglietta, the Tokyo Olympian is still just halfway through his full potential in the Hanoi games. Now, imagine him in his peak form.

“I think that EJ (will have) a perfect performance in July,” said Guglietta, referring to the World Athletics Championships to be held in Eugene, Oregon in the United States on July 15 to 24, 2022

But before the World Championships, though, the 26-year-old Obiena, who owns the Asian record of 5.93, will compete on May 29 in the Golden Fly Series near Formia, Italy, where he trains.

Filipinas

Image courtesy of Summit Natural Drinking Water

The Philippine Women’s National Football Team, also known as the “Filipinas” continues to break barriers in their #ThirstForGold. The Filipinas made a historic feat in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India earlier this year by reaching the semifinals and qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time ever.

The Filipinas may have failed to advance to the gold-medal round of the SEA Games, but they immediately bounced back with a performance billed by their Australian coach Alen Stajcic as the team’s “best” in the biennial meet.

Staring at a 0-1 deficit against Myanmar in the bronze medal match, Sarina Bolden and Quinley Quezada scored two goals in a span of three minutes to snatch the victory for the country to end the country’s 37-year thirst for medal in the SEA Games.

“It was the best performance we had in this tournament,” said Stajcic. “We showed amazing heart and spirit to the death to get the win. It was a performance to be proud of.”

Image courtesy of Summit Natural Drinking Water