The ninth edition of the three-nation regional multi-sport Far Eastern Games (FEG) held from May 24-27, 1930 in Tokyo, saw the Philippines’ continued struggle for supremacy against Japan in centerpiece events athletics and swimming.
In athletics, where the Filipino runners, jumper and throwers, where the dominant force in six of the past eight staging of the biennial meet, managed only two gold medals courtesy of future Olympic high jumper Simeon Toribio and hurdler Felizardo Casia.
Toribio, then 34, who would salvage a bronze medal in the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, hardly sweated it out in cruising to his and the country’s second gold in his event, counting similar win in 1927 in Shanghai.
Casia, almost unheralded in the region’s track and field community until his 1930 heroics, took advantage of Japanese Mayuki Miyake’s miscue halfway through the200-meter hurdles race to emerge winner, in the process towing teammate Justo Cadores to the medal podium in a 1-2 Filipino finishes.
Splasher Teofilo Yldefonso remained the national contingent’s lone gold medallist in swimming, defending for the fourth straight time his 200-meer breaststroke crown he first won in 1923 in Osaka, also in Japan.
The PH basketball team, represented here by almost the same team that would hand the Philippines a fifth place finish in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, the highest by an Asian nation up to the present time, had the country’s eighth gold medal secured, again at the expense of China.
The team was skippered by senator-to-be Ambrosio Padilla and made up of Berlin Olympian Jacinto “Jumping Jack” Ciria Cruz, Augusto Bautista, Rizalino Gamban, Briccio Reynoso, Alfredo del Rosario, John Schlobohm, Jesus Suarez and Antonio Villanueva. Rounding out the lineup of coach Pedro Villanueva was Mariano Filomeno, the only non-Olympian.
The Filipino spikers were denied anew by their Chinese counterparts to return to the throne they occupied four times, the last in 1925.
Besides Toribio’s and Casia’ gold harvest, he Philippines, likewise, managed to bring home six silver medals in athletics through the efforts of Anselmo Gonzaga and Casia himself a pair each, and the 4 x 200 relay (Ferman Candari, Gonzaga, David Nepomuceno and Constantino Alambra) and the 4 x 400 relay (Candari, Gonzaga, Miguel White and Alambra).
White, 400 hurdles Olympic bronze medallist in 1936,also managed bronze in the same event, a feat matched by Regino Portacion in 110 hurdles and decathlon and Joaquin Villanueva in 200 hurdles.
In winning the 200 breaststroke, Yldefonso actually towed teammate Jikirum Adjaluddin to a silver medal finish that was duplicated by the Filipinos’ team of four composed of Abduhraman Ali, Jakarta Agmkang, Dominador San Agustin and Manona Ulka in the 200-meter relay.
Ulka accounted for the medal in swimming he accomplished by ending up third in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle.
The Chinese performed very poorly at the 1930 FEG, managing only one bronze medal in the athletics program in addition to their gold in football. This fostered anti-Japanese sentiment among the Chinese, many of whom saw the performance at this edition as a national embarrassment, particularly given the comparative size of Japan compared to China
Host nation Japan, defended its athletics title they took from the Philippines in 1927 with a dominating performance winning all but two of the events contested. The Japanese it also swept nine events and provided two medallists in all but two individual events.