For the new first vice president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, the top priority in the order of battle should be the Southeast Asian Games next year.
Joey Romasanta, who beat Manny Lopez during the recent POC polls, said the new batch of officials should focus their effort and resources on the 2013 Myanmar Games together with the Philippine Sports Commission.
“How can you win a medal in the Olympics or even contend against the top countries in the Asian Games if you can’t even beat the best in the SEA Games,” said Romasanta, president of the Philippine Karatedo Federation.
The Philippines finished sixth in the 2011 SEAG in Indonesia and the new POC-PSC partnership, Romasanta said, is determined to turn things around.
Over 140 priority athletes from different sports who have been tapped by the PSC to improve the country’s previous SEA Games finish will start training in January.
The government agency is targeting at least 60 to 70 gold medals in Naypidaw next year, which should be good for a third- or fourth-place output in the 11-nation, biennial meet dominated by Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.
“I wasn’t really thinking about the elections during the campaign period, but on how we can make progress in the SEA Games,” said Romasanta. “Our athletes should shine in the SEA Games before they could even think about performing better in the next level.”