PSC, POC preparing Olympic hopefuls’ training restart
The Philippine Sports Commission has been formulating the required ground rules and setting up the venues for the safe return of the national athletes bound for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez said the guidelines for the resumption of training is still subject to necessary changes prior to its submission to the Inter-Agency Task Force while giving the assurance that sports facilities would be ready upon approval.
“We are working toward the approval of the training of our national athletes who have earned their slots in these Games. We are hoping it gets the go-signal from the IATF first,” said Fernandez.
Both Fernandez and PSC national training director Marc Velasco have emphasized the need for the qualifiers in these Games to immediately go back to training in a recent virtual meeting with officials from the Department of Health, Games and Amusements Board, Department of Education, among others.
“The PSC has discussed this with the POC (Philippine Olympic Committee). We still have to sit down with the PPC (Philippine Paralympic Committee),” said Velasco, who also functions as PSC chief of staff.
“The POC will determine through their NSAs (national sports associations) the ones who will return first,” added Velasco during the discussion for the Joint Administrative Order Guidelines on the Conduct of Health Enhancing Physical Activities and Sports during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Olympic-bound athletes EJ Obiena (pole vault) and gymnast Carlos Yulo are camped in Italy and Japan, respectively, while boxer Irish Magno and Eumir Marcial have been staying in Baguio and Cavite waiting for the go-signal to resume training.
Para swimmer Ernie Gawilan became the first Filipino qualifier in the Paralympics next year while 2016 Paralympic bronze medalist Josephine Medina of table tennis is awaiting the official word on the status of her qualification from the International Table Tennis Federation.
According to Velasco, the PSC has to work with the POC, NSAs and the team of Dr. Randy Molo of the PSC’s Medical Scientific Athlete Services (MSAS) on crafting the guidelines and protocols.
“So we can all have an effective guide for their return to training,” said Velasco.
Fernandez announced that there were no positive cases among the national athletes for COVID-19 as the agency seeks to push forward with the resumption of their training while observing standard health procedures.
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