POC chief: PH won’t suffer sharp SEAG slide
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chief Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino is not only focused on the country’s participation in the 2021 Tokyo Games, but also its performance in the Southeast Asian Games, which will also be held next year.
Tolentino, the Cavite eighth district representative, will work with fellow lawmakers to provide the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) with a fighting budget for the biennial meet.
“The budget will be a big factor in our bid to stay competitive in the Games. I will see to it that the PSC gets what it needs,’’ Tolentino said.
Though Tolentino isn’t optimistic of Team Philippines retaining the overall title it captured during the Philippine hosting last year, the POC chief doesn’t want to see a drastic decline in overall performance, medal-tally wise.
“We will find it hard to keep the title because of that issue on the number and type of sports that will be played. But I cannot allow our team to plummet back to sixth or seventh [like it did] before we won the overall last year,’’ Tolentino said.
The 31st SEA Games has been set from Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 next year in Hanoi, with Vietnam organizers planning to host 36 sports—20 less than when the Philippines captured the overall title on home turf in 2019.
Fifteen of those 20 sports produced 56 gold medals for Team Philippines, more than a third of the 149 golds that propelled the nation to the runaway win over Vietnam’s 98 golds.
“I have plans to keep us competitive, but I will reveal them after the [POC] elections. We’re also waiting for the number of sports and events to be finalized by the host country,’’ Tolentino said.
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