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Long Olympic travel time worries Garcia

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 05:25 AM March 28, 2016
Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia  INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ RICHARD REYES

Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ RICHARD REYES

PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) Chair Richie Garcia wants Filipino athletes competing in the Olympics to be in Rio de Janeiro at least a week before the actual competition.

The flight to Rio takes a minimum of 27 hours with a layover in Dubai as the shortest route and Garcia said the coaches and athletes should consider this in the final stages of their preparation for the Games set Aug. 5 to 21.

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“Going to Rio is like getting beaten up because of the very long trip. That’s how tiring it is,” said Garcia, who had gone through the exhausting trip recently from Manila to Rio.

The longest travel time could take as long as 42 hours, depending on the stopover and waiting duration.

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“They should be there even before the (Olympic) village opens for them to get used to the time difference,” he added.

Garcia also recommended that they communicate with the organizers on the practice venues since the stadium and competition areas might not be ready yet upon their arrival.

“A week ahead or a week and a half should be fine,” said the PSC chair.

He said the trip won’t pose a problem for Filipino-American hurdler Eric Cray since the Southeast Asian Games double-gold medalist would come from Texas in the United States.

So far, only Cray and weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz have made it to the national team to the Olympics since Filipino boxers and taekwondo jins, among others, are still trying to qualify.

Garcia added there are no news yet on the progress of Caluag, the Asian BMX champion who saw action in the 2012 London Olympics.

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