All-out effort to qualify more Olympic boxers
Before drawing up plans for an all-out campaign in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Filipino boxers should first earn tickets to the Games through the qualifying tournaments.
Top officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee as well as the Philippine Sports Commission agreed with the Alliance Boxing Association of the Philippines (Abap) during a meeting Tuesday that all resources must be concentrated on the overseas qualifiers so the country can bring more boxers to Rio.
“Let’s focus our attention first on the qualifying tournaments,” said POC first vice president and Olympic chief of mission Joey Romasanta. “Once we have the qualified boxers, we can plan the strategy to increase our chances of winning a medal.”
Romasanta said boxing chief Ricky Vargas has organized a plan for the boxers who will undergo high-impact strength and conditioning training.
Part of the plan is to hire a foreign coach with POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. proposing to bring in more coaches from different countries on a short-term basis.
“He (Cojuangco) suggested that foreign coaches should train our boxers for a month or two and then transfer their knowledge to our local coaches,” said Romasanta during a meeting at Edsa Shangri-La hotel attended by PSC chair Richie Garcia, commissioner Iggy Clavecilla and Abap executive Ed Picson.
The Philippines hasn’t won a medal since 1996, when Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco bagged a silver in the Atlanta Games.
He added that the POC would seek the recommendation of Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao on how to motivate the boxers and his help in tapping his trainer Freddie Roach to train the amateur boxers.
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