THE PHILIPPINES will have to name the members of the national team to the 27th Southeast Asian Games way before the original schedule.
Burma organizers yesterday reset the final submission of lineups by name from Aug. 15 to Sept. 15, more than a month ahead of the original late October deadline, according to the official website of the 27th SEAG, www.27seagames 2013.com.
The development shocked Philippine chef de mission Jeff Tamayo, who noted that host Myanmar (Burma) has yet to send an official communication.
“Obviously, they’re already prepared to name their athletes who are going to compete,” said Tamayo, who learned about the change of schedule from the website.
“They are doing this for us to rush and decide immediately. I already wrote them to clarify the matter and ask for the entry forms,” he added.
The task force, which acts as the screening committee, has earlier recommended 187 athletes for inclusion in the Philippine delegation to the Dec. 11-22 meet in Nay Pyi Taw, Burma’s new capital and hub of the games.
These athletes passed the gold-medal and gold-potential criteria set by the task force headed by Philippine Olympic Committee chair Tom Carrasco, Philippine Sports Commissioner Iggy Clavecilla and Tamayo.
“The NSAs (national sports associations) are now hard-pressed to come up with their final entries while the task force will be forced to release the names of the athletes with finality,” said Tamayo, the POC second vice president and soft tennis chief.
Team Philippines is seeking to compete in at least 28 out of 33 sports (460 events) with team sports such as women’s basketball, football (men and women) and futsal hoping to make it into the roster.
“Myanmar (Burma) is aiming for third place overall. The hosts are starting to put everything together to achieve the target,” said Tamayo.
PSC chair Richie Garcia said slots for 526 athletes were earlier forwarded to Burma but the figure would eventually be cut down to 200 at the most.
With three weeks to go before the start of deadline, Tamayo said the recent development could make it tougher for other athletes vying for slots in the contingent to prove their worth.
“Instead of three months, they should be able to prove themselves in a month’s time,” said Tamayo.