New Patafa program for Rio Olympics
Philippine athletics is set to launch an ambitious new plan aimed at sending athletes to the 2016 Olympics.
Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (Patafa) president Philip Juico yesterday said foremost in the plan is the selection of a handful of athletes whose training will be guided and funded with the goal of making them qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Games.
Juico said Fil-Am Eric Cray, middle-distance runner Archand Bagsit, decathlete Jesson Cid and former Asian long jump champion Marestella Torres will head the exclusive list.
He said the list could include as many as six athletes who will train abroad and given allowances, “so they don’t have to worry about money and concentrate on training.”
Cray, the first Filipino to make the finals of 400 meters in the Asian Games since 1982, is reportedly busy with two jobs in the United States while training for competitions.
“This is not the adopt-an-Olympian program, this is a different one, but it’s going to be on Patafa. If we get (funding) from the PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) it will be just to augment (our funds),” he said.