Tolentino says Team PH flying to Hanoi early
The Philippine delegation to the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games will fly to Hanoi in Vietnam no less than a week before the opening on May 12 next year, Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said on Friday.
“This is the normal practice because our athletes need to acclimatize and get the feel of the competition venues aside from the environment and the weather,’’ said Tolentino, who represents the eighth district of Cavite province in the lower house of Congress.
The schedule of the departure, arranged after SEA Games organizers in Vietnam finally released the scheduled of the delayed biennial meet that will run until May 23, meant that the delegation members risk not being able to cast their votes in the May 9 presidential elections.
“This is one of those sacrifices of having to represent the country in an international competition,’’ said Tolentino.
However, the Philippine Sports Commission earlier revealed that it was working with the Commission on Elections to find ways that the athletes and other delegation members still get to participate in the polls.
The Hanoi organizing committee and the Vietnam government decided to postpone the Games due to the rising cases of COVID-19. It was originally scheduled on Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 this year.
With the schedule finalized, Team Philippines can now train for the event taking into account other factors that could affect its performance. Like the heat, for instance.
With its summer schedule, the SEA Games will bear the full brunt of Hanoi’s sweltering May weather, with temperatures expected to go past 36 degrees centigrade.