PH skateboarding manages expectations ahead of SEA Games
MANILA, Philippines—Philippine skateboarding is tempering expectations for its campaign for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, acknowledging that other countries are likewise bringing their respective teams to rule the competition.
An earlier report quoted Skateboarding and Roller Sports Association of the Philippines president Monty Mendigoria as saying that the Philippines “is unbeatable in all of the events we have included.”
While the NSA’s leadership is confident that the country can perform well and bring home medals, a guarantee of a golden sweep is “foolhardy,” according to its vice president Anthony Claravall.
“It’d be a real disservice to come out and say that we are going to sweep all the gold medals,” said Claravall in an interview with the Inquirer.
“We have to be realistic, this is a sport in its infancy especially in this arena of this kind. I just want to make sure that the Filipino public understands, looking at every other sport, nothing is guaranteed.”
The Philippine skateboarding team will be led by Margielyn Didal, who rose to fame after her sensational performance in the Asian Games that earned her a gold medal.
Star recruits like Christiana Means, Jericho “Kiko” Francisco and other talented Filipino-foreign athletes are also suiting up for the team.
“We have a diverse team. Some of them are ranked in the top 10, 15 in the world and some are top 10 in Europe or in Asia. We have the best team and skaters representing the PH, but that being said every country in bringing their best.”
Claravall said he’s making the clarifications “for the athletes” after some of them felt bothered by the golden sweep pronouncement.
“These are really young athletes, 17 to 20-years-old and we have some guys who have been thrust into the limelight and it’s a lot of pressure and a lot of hardship to have this on them,” added Claravall.
Claravall admitted that support for the sport remains a problem with the lack of Olympic-standard skate parks in the country which affects athletes’ preparations.
“All of the athletes have to train overseas or travel if they’re PH-based athletes they’re overseas to train or they won’t have to the opportunity to train in Olympic facilities.”
According to Claravall, this is what the PH skateboarding association is also looking to focus on.
“Some of these athletes could be world-class but with no facility at home and no funds the potential you might fall short of the potential,” he said. “We’re here to stay and our intention is to build a successful program and successful programs are not built overnight.”
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