Shooting blasts POC for snubbing trap bets
MANILA—Shooting chief Art Macapagal blasted the Philippine Olympic Committee Saturday for excluding the crack trap shooting team from the Philippine Asian Games roster despite surpassing the qualifying standard for the quadrennial meet set in Guangzhou, China, in November. “I cannot understand why they have been excluded when they surpassed the criteria set by the POC itself,” Macapagal told the Inquirer in a phone interview. “We are endorsing them because they qualified.” Macapagal said the trap team composed of former Olympians Jethro Dionisio, Eric Ang and Hagen Topacio amassed a total of 331 points during the World Cup held in Beijing last April, which beat the gold medal score of 327 in Doha four years ago. Not only was the trap team ignored by the POC, Macapagal said no reason was given why the shooters were not included in the RP lineup that the POC submitted to the Guangzhou organizing committee last Wednesday. Curiously, among the names submitted to the Asiad were 48 members of the two dragon boat squads and 12 players from the women’s basketball team, who have yet to justify their places in the RP roster. The dragon boat bets still have to undergo performance trials at the La Mesa dam on Oct. 9 while the cagebelles need a gold medal performance in the Seaba championship starting on Oct. 24 to make it to the Asiad. Only three—Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Nathaniel “Tac” Padilla, Mark Monozca and Jason Valdez—of the 11 shooters endorsed by the shooting body were approved by the POC for the Asiad. The trap team’s breaking the Asiad criteria was never mentioned when RP chief of mission Joey Romasanta earlier batted for the inclusion only of Topacio.
Romasanta said Macapagal insisted on having a team because of its better chances in the competition. Romasanta said Topacio was eventually stricken off the list since it’s unfair for him “to carry the weight” of the two other members. With a report from Marc Anthony Reyes