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POC: Olympic postponement favorable to Filipino athletes

The looming postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to another year is favorable to Filipino athletes.

POC president Rep. Abraham ‘Bambo’ Tolentino
Philippine Olympic Committee president and Tagaytay Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said this after learning that the International Olympic Committee is considering a move to reschedule the Games to 2021.

Because of this, the IOC has given itself a deadline of four weeks to make a decision.

“It’s better to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympics rather than cancel, so as not to lose our (Philippines’) chance for our first gold medal—or even more golds,” said Tolentino.

Plans to delay the holding of the Olympics were put forward after the IOC executive board met last Sunday in the face of mounting pressure from athletes and national Olympic committees for the Games to be put off because of the coronavirus crisis.

“(If the Games are postponed) More Filipinos have more chance to qualify,” added Tolentino.

So far, only four Filipino athletes have earned Olympic qualification slots.

They are gymnast Carlos Yulo, pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena, and boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno.

Tolentino believes that a deferral in the scheduling would mean more time to train for those who have already qualified and those who are still trying to qualify. 

“A 2021 schedule is ideal enough,” said Tolentino.

In a statement, the IOC executive board explained that it has initiated the next step in the IOC’s scenario-planning.

And the scenarios involving the Games are related to the modification existing operational plans.

The Games are supposed to start on July 24, 2020

 “I favor a postponement because the health and safety of everyone in sports—both in the Philippines and all over the world—is paramount in this Covid-19 pandemic,” said Tolentino.

The IOC is also considering a “scaled-down” Games and has no plans to cancel it.

The Games could be shelved by either several months or even a whole year.

The new direction taken by the IOC came five days after it said that it was “fully committed” to the Tokyo 2020 Games.

So far, Canada and Australia have made announcements that they will not be sending athletes to the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2020.  

The two countries made their decisions known after the pandemic has forced the postponement and cancellation of numerous sporting events all over the world.

Topics: 2020 Tokyo Olympics , Philippine Olympic Committee , Abraham Tolentino , Ernest John Obiena , Eumir Marcial , Irish Magno
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