Lopez bats for Tokyo aspirants’ own ‘bubble’
For national athletes eyeing a spot in the Olympics like taekwondo champ Pauline Lopez, continuous training under a contained environment is the ideal situation.
The 23-year-old Southeast Asian Games two-time gold winner is currently training in a small office converted to serve as her own little “bubble” from the coronavirus pandemic.“I’m all out for safety protocols while training, but I don’t think they have that bubble yet for all athletes training for the Olympics,” Lopez said. “But I’m all for it. Safety and health are foremost.”
Lopez’s idea takes a page from the NBA, which contained all 22 teams in its restart for it to finish the disrupted 2019-2020 season.
It just may materialize as officials of joint sports bodies discuss on Monday the parameters for sports that carry the strongest chances of making it to the Tokyo Games next year.
The meeting will be led by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) national training director Marc Velasco, Philippine Olympic Committee secretary general Edwin Gastanes and Tokyo Games chief of mission Mariano Araneta.
They will study the possibility of coming up with guidelines on athletes’ training “without compromising their health.”
The PSC, the Games and Amusements Board and the Department of Health had earlier signed a joint administrative order that aims to determine a baseline for health guidelines for athletes.
But it’s no mean feat as each sport has specific requirements and they will have to consider them using a common goal for health and safety.
Trying to catch a bus to Tokyo are fellow jins Sam Morrison and Arven Alcantara, Rio Olympics weightlifting silver winner Hidilyn Diaz, boxer Nesthy Petecio, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, judoka Kiyomi Watanabe and karateka Jamie Lim.
They hope to join qualifiers Eumir Felix Marcial and Irish Magno of boxing, Carlos Edriel Yulo of gymnastics and pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena. INQ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.