POC readies SEAG bonuses; table tennis ace set for Asean para wars
As the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) announced incentives for the top finishers of the recent Cambodia Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, over at Phnom Penh, the country’s top para-athletes were gearing up for their time to shine.
Among them is Andrew Kevin Arandia, who finished with a silver in the 2022 Asean Para Games in Indonesia.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out his next goal.
“The target is to win the gold medal. I’ve been training well and I hope I can achieve my goal here in Cambodia,” said the five-foot-seven Arandia, who became joined the national team after winning the silver medal in the 2018 Philippine National Para Games in Bulacan.
Arandia bagged the men’s singles Class 9 silver medal in last year’s edition of the competition, which was also his debut in the event.
“I was so happy when I got the silver medal in Indonesia. It inspired me to do better this year,” said the 26-year-old Arandia during the team’s practice at the Table Tennis Hall inside the Morodok Techo Sports Complex on Thursday.
Born with a club foot, he underwent surgery and began playing table tennis since grade school.
Arandia also bagged the men’s doubles bronze medal with Benedicto Gaela last year.
Aside from playing for flag and country, Arandia and his national teammates can draw motivation from the announcement of POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino regarding the incentives of medalists from the recent SEA Games.
Tolentino said a total of P12.40 million in bonuses, to be partly drawn from the POC’s Athletes’ Incentive Trust Fund, will be awarded to the 260 athletes who won medals in Cambodia. The Philippines ended the biennial meet with 58 golds, 85 silvers and 117 bronzes.
“The athletes, particularly the medalists, deserve the reward and the POC will always be diligent on that,” said Tolentino, the first POC president who initiated a trust fund for incentives to athletes winning medals in international competitions.
Carlos Yulo will end up with the fattest bonus after winning two golds and two silvers in men’s gymnastics.
Of the total bonus, P7.2 million will come from the Manuel V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation (MVPSF) and P5.2 million from POC funds.
Under the POC’s incentive program, P100,000 will go to an individual gold medalist, P50,000 to doubles and relay teams winners and P30,000 to champion team members. The silver medalists will get P50,000 (individual) and P30,000 (doubles and relay). Bronze medalists will take home P30,000 (individual) and P10,000 (doubles and relay).
“The amount is from the generosity of MVPSF, Manny Pangilinan, through the efforts of [president] Al Panlilio,” Tolentino said.