Expect no more than 200 Filipino athletes in this year’s Burma Southeast Asian Games.
And that figure could even go down once the top officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission finalize the list, according to Philippine chef de mission Jeff Tamayo.
“Out of 200 entries, only 90 individual athletes passed the criteria,” said Tamayo after Olympic chief Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. scrutinized the lineup during yesterday’s POC executive board meeting.
The task force, which Tamayo heads along with POC chair Tom Carrasco, sports commissioner Iggy Clavecilla and Romy Magat of tennis, came up with the maximum projected size of the delegation and submitted the entries by number to Burma organizers.
Over 300 candidate athletes were forwarded by 28 national sports associations set to participate in the Dec. 11 to 22 but only 200 made the grade, half of them coming from team sports. It could be the smallest delegation since the Philippines joined the SEA Games in 1977.
The task force included in the PH roster only gold-medal performers in the previous Games and potential gold finishers.
“It’s now up to the NSAs to do everything for the athletes. They have three months to convince the POC and the PSC that their athletes really deserve to be in the SEA Games,” said Tamayo.
He added that candidate athletes from taekwondo, boxing, billiards, athletics, cycling, wrestling, archery, fencing and judo, among others, will be closely monitored by the task force along with dragon boat, football and futsal.