SEA Games a test of progress as PH boxers eye Olympics
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine national boxing team is setting its sights not just on the 2019 Southeast Asian Games but also the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Nolito Velasco, the head coach of the women’s team, said they are focusing on the SEA Games but the regional meet “is part of the preparation” for the bigger Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The Philippines will compete in the Asian/Oceania circuit on Feb. 3 to 14 in Wuhan, China just two full months after the end of the SEA Games that the Philippines will host from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
“Our preparation for the Qualifying Tournament has been nonstop and the SEA Games is part of that,” said Velasco in Filipino Friday as the female boxers continue their preps for the upcoming biennial meet.
The Filipino boxers have increased the intensity of their training with the Australian and Laotian national teams joining them days ahead of the SEA Games.
Velasco, though, clarified that they’re not discounting the SEA Games as an inferior event. In fact, it’s the first test of the boxers’ progress, which will help them in their quest for the Olympic berths.
“We’re not overly focused that we’ve set aside the SEA Games, I’ve prepared boxers for several Olympics already, so it’s in the SEA Games where we’ll see the right things that would bring us the victories,” said Velasco, who also coached John Marvin to the light heavyweight gold medal in the 2017 SEA Games.
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