Buckling down to work immediately, newly elected Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino said monitoring the progress of ongoing preparations for the 30th Southeast Asian Games and settling disputes involving the membership of several national sports associations will be among the his several immediate goals.
With SEA Games preparations now on their final stretch, Tolentino hopes to be in touch with the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee to find out about the many minor details that need to be addressed.
“Ang SEA Games, doon talaga ang focus natin. Hindi naman tayo humihiwalay pa. We have to focus on that. It’s barely four months to go,” said Tolentino after the president of the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines became the 12th president of the POC last Sunday.
The country, as host of the biennial meet, is holding 56 sports disciplines that will be staged in 44 competition venues spread around Metro Manila and in Pampanga, Zambales and La Union in the north, and in Batangas, Laguna and Cavite in the south.
Organizers said construction work of the main stadiums for swimming and athletics at the New Clark City Sports Complex in Pampanga is still going on.
With the oval and pool ready for use, the stadiums are expected to be in full use by August 31.
At the moment, issues concerning the membership of karatedo tops the agenda.
There are two groups in karatedo. One is Karate Pilipinas, which is headed by Richard Lim, and is said to be recognized by the World Karatedo Federation.
Another is the group of Gretchen Malalad, which has the blessing of the POC.
With both groups now seeking recognition, the POC hopes to resolve the membership issues of karatedo with muay thai’s Gen. Lucas Managuelod appointed to replace membership committee head Robert Bachmann.
On Sunday, Tolentino won the POC presidential post against athletics head Philip Ella Juico.
Tolentino, the congressman representing the 7th district of Cavite (Tagaytay), received 24 votes when the counting ended yesterday at the end of the special elections of the POC at the Sheraton Hotel in Manila, with Juico getting 20.
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