A diagnostic with a plan after
We can speculate on the number of Asian Games medals that the Philippines could win, remain optimistic and still end up frustrated with how far behind we are our Asian neighbors.
While the powers of the region like China, Japan and Korea are looking to dominate the upcoming games in Jakarta-Palembang in Indonesia, other countries are hoping to perform well at best, be competitive and take home a few medals. These medals are not just crumbs, mind you, as these games will showcase the best of Asia and the competition will be intense in every discipline.
If we stumble miserably, we will most likely toss blames as to who or what was at fault for the state of sports in our country. It is a sad regular sport we play. The blame game will be played out not only in traditional media but in online platforms as well. Everyone will have an opinion, which is the core of social media.
A different view may be in order. There will be no doubt that Filipino athletes will do their utmost in their Asiad stints. There could be those who are in it simply for personal gain, but in general Filipino athletes know why they’re in the Games. Sports officials need not resort to the age-old line when our athletes stumble in their events. “Lumaban naman sila para sa bayan (They fought for the country),” is the familiar line.
The view that should be taken in this Asian Games is to seriously examine where we stand against our competition in all fields. The process should not simply look at how this will affect our performance in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games the country will host next year. The diagnostic test should have an Asian as well as a global perspective.
Skeptics will say that we have done too many analytics in the past. That’s not entirely wrong. But the difference could be if concrete plans are actually done to see improvements in our Asian performances long after the Indonesia Games are over.
It will be a difficult, painful and costly process but to improve we need to analyze, plan and execute better. The powers of the Asia have sports infrastructures that have seen them constantly improve over the years, extending their excellence to the Olympics and other world competitions.
There’s a lot of catching up to do. Let’s get to work.
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