POC wants early SEA Games training, eyes top threeBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Aiming for the top three in next year’s Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine Olympic Committee will compel the national athletes to plunge into training earlier than usual.
“We can achieve that if we start working as soon as possible,” said POC secretary general Steve Hontiveros yesterday.
The Philippines hasn’t been a threat for the overall crown since it topped the 2005 edition that the country hosted and Hontiveros said the reason behind the dip in performance was the late training of athletes.
“We cannot afford to cram like in the past,” said Hontiveros, stressing that it has become a bad habit that the preparation of athletes kicks off only a few months before competition.
With 16 months to go before the SEA Games, he said athletes in the 32 disciplines calendared for the 2013 biennial meet to be hosted by Naypidaw, Myanmar, should now train ahead of schedule.
“We’re targeting not lower than third or fourth place,” said Hontiveros.
The Philippines finished sixth last year in Indonesia and fifth in 2009 Laos.
“Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam will be right up there,” said Hontiveros. “But if we really begin our preparation early, we can place third.”
The Philippine Sports Commission has earlier identified 145 priority athletes, all of them medalists in Indonesia, to carry the fight in next year’s SEA Games.