Huge PH team for 2013 Myanmar SEAG eyedBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Expect another bloated Philippine contingent to the Southeast Asian Games next year, although the Philippine Sports Commission will only bankroll those who are capable of winning medals.
PSC chair Richie Garcia said the national team to the 2013 biennial meet in Naypidaw, Myanmar, will include athletes willing to spend on their own with the sports-funding agency reimbursing their expenses if they land a medal.
Garcia said the medalists of the last SEA Games will be the prime candidates when the Philippine Olympic Committee starts forming the PH delegation to next year’s 11-nation sportsfest.
Garcia said next in line in the selection process are the athletes from the 10 focus sports followed by the have-money-will-travel athletes.
“It’s going to be a huge delegation because we will allow athletes who are willing to shoulder their own expenses to join the national team,” said Garcia. “The probability of winning more medals is high if there are more athletes.”
Indonesia dominated the games last year on its turf with 1,059 athletes. Thailand placed second overall with 882 athletes and Vietnam third with 608 athletes. The Philippines ended up sixth for the second time in three SEA Games with 512 athletes.
Though athletes willing to shell out their own expenses are welcome, Garcia said the final decision still rests on the national sports associations and the POC.
“The NSAs and the POC will still have the final say. If they (NSAs) don’t have confidence in their athletes, better not send them,” said Garcia.
A total of 32 sports are scheduled in Myanmar, 21 of them Olympic sports, aside from three demonstration disciplines chosen by the host.
Tags: Southeast Asian Games