In the next six months, 15 national sports associations will be sending athletes to Olympic qualification competitions.
Tokyo Olympics chef de mission Mariano “Nonong” Araneta said this after he met with Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez and representatives of various NSAs concerned yesterday at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Vito Cruz, Manila.
A total of 49 athletes are seeking qualification for the Olympiad to join early qualifiers pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena and gymnast Carlos Yulo.
Of the 49, 38 athletes have decent chances to make it to Tokyo. If this happens, this could become the biggest contingent that the Philippines has ever sent since the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where the country sent 47 athletes in 10 sports.
According to Araneta’s tally, athletics is hoping to send a total of four, along with aquatics (2), 3x3 basketball (4) and boxing (6). Also seeking qualification are athletes in golf (2), judo (2), skateboarding (2), weightlifting (2), taekwondo (12), cycling (3), Table tennis (1), canoeing(2) and karatedo (6).
Ramirez made assurances that funds amounting to P100 million will be made available for the training and campaign of athletes, who will take part in the qualifiers and in the ongoing preparations as well.
The financial assistance was guaranteed by President Rodrigo Duterte following the successful, overall title-clinching campaign of Filipino athletes in the recent 30th Southeast Asian Games.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., through the office of chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo, also sent a representative to the meeting.