Philippines sprint wins marred by flag controversy
The Philippines might have stamped their mark as having the fastest man and woman in South-east Asia, but a wardrobe malfunction is threatening to overshadow their triumph.
While Eric Cray and Kayla Richardson produced stunning performances to win their respective 100m race finals at the 28th SEA Games at the National Stadium on Tuesday, the duo's attire for the events has become a major talking point.
Sharp-eyed observers noticed that the Philippines flag on their chest was inverted, with the red half of the flag sitting on top of the blue instead of the other way around.
Kayla Richardson celebrates after winning the women's 100m sprint. PHOTO: SINGSOC / REUTERS VIA ACTION IMAGES
AFP reported that an upside-down flag meant that the country was in an official state of war while the incident has become another stick for the half-American sprint duo, who have trouble convincing people of their Filipino descent.
While no official of the Philippines SEA Games contingent was available for comment on the error, the archipelago nation's presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said: "It must have been an oversight, which I am certain they will correct once brought to their attention."
Despite the embarrassment, the two sprinters might take comfort in the fact that this isn't the first time their country's flag has been mistakenly flipped.
American footballer Doug Baldwin paraded an upside-down Philippines flag in 2013 while making an appeal for victims of Typhoon Haiyan while the US have had to issue an apology for inverting the Philippines flag during a high profile meeting of world leaders led by President Barack Obama.