Without billiards, chess and dancesport in the 2014 Asian Games calendar, the Philippines has no choice but to shift focus on other sports for medals.
Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia yesterday said the exclusion of the three sports would diminish the country’s chances of winning more medals and of surpassing its previous performance in Guangzhou, China, three years ago.
“It will surely reduce our medal tally,” said Garcia. “But we have to live with it and try to win medals in other sports.”
Garcia was earlier named the country’s chef de mission in the continent’s biggest sports event in Incheon, South Korea, from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4 where a total of 437 gold medals will be dangled in 36 sports.
The Philippines won three gold, four silver and nine bronze medals in Guangzhou with billiards, chess and dancesport delivering five medals.
Billiards ace Dennis Orcollo ruled the 9-ball men’s singles gold after defeating fellow Filipino Warren Kiamco in the finals.
Also taking the silver were the men’s chess team, female boxer Annie Albania and golfer Miguel Tabuena. Dancers Ronnie Steeve Vergara and Charlea Lagaras brought home a pair of bronze medals in the Latin Paso Doble and Latin Cha-Cha-Cha in dancesport.
Garcia said the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) pulled out the three sports along with muay from the Asian Games and moved them to the Asian Indoor Games.
“They are moving some of the sports to the Asian Indoor Games,” said Garcia. “What OCA wants is to make the indoor games as important as the Asian Games.”
Other gold medalists in Guangzhou were boxer Rey Saludar and bowler Biboy Rivera.