WITH some Olympic sports out of the coming Southeast Asian Games, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero has urged the Philippine Sports Commission yesterday to pour its resources instead on events that will strengthen the country’s bid in bigger tournaments overseas.
“It’s a setback. There’s no other way to call it but that,” said Escudero of the decision of SEAG host Myanmar (Burma) to remove several Olympic disciplines from the roster of the Dec. 11 to 22 meet and replace them with 60 events unknown to Filipino athletes.
“But we should move on and think about the bigger tasks ahead, like the Asian Games and the Olympics, where we have not been winning medals for a long time now.”
After striking out lawn tennis, gymnastics, water polo and badminton from the roster of events, Myanmar included ethnic sports chinlone and tarung derajat and put up 18 gold medals each for indigenous combat disciplines vovinam and kempo.
Officials said Myanmar obviously wants to improve on its seventh place overall standings this time at the expense of the Filipinos, sixth in Indonesia two years ago.
But this should not dishearten PSC officials and the athletes, according to Escudero.
“We should not take our focus away from the Olympics,” said Escudero, an avid pistol shooter and bike enthusiast.
He added that the PSC could spend its savings of more than P500 million by training athletes for the 2014 Asian Games and the 2016 Olympics.