The exact number of athletes shooting for Tokyo Olympic berths will be resolved by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee soon.
Last January, sports officials counted 38 athletes from 15 national sports associations as among those who were aiming for Olympic qualification competitions, but the number could change after the country underwent a series of lockdowns to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
And this is what the Philippine Sports Commission is set to discuss with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases in the coming days.
The PSC made efforts to resolve this matter on Wednesday, following an online meeting of officials of the POC and Olympics’ chef de mission Mariano “Nonong” Araneta.
“We had a fruitful discussion and agreed on all matters. We will now recommend to IATF the resumption of training bound for Tokyo and those who still have slots for qualifying. We will update the list with the different NSAs,” said Tolentino.
So far, four Filipino athletes have earned seats to the Olympics, namely pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, and boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno.
At the beginning of the year, sports officials were informed that athletes seeking Olympic participation could go as high as 38.
At that time, athletics hoped to send a total of four, with aquatics expecting two swimmers, 3x3 basketball looking at four and boxing aiming for six.
Also seeking qualification are athletes in golf (2), judo (2), skateboarding (2), weightlifting (2), taekwondo (12), cycling (3), Table tennis (1), canoeing (2), karatedo (6).
Tolentino, in his talks with PSC officer in charge Ramon Fernandez, added that training in PSC-managed facilities can start once the areas have been disinfected.
Many PSC facilities are not available because they are being used by frontliners and COVID-19 patients.
For instance, the Philsports complex is currently being tapped as a quarantine facility and monitoring for coronavirus patients and so are the venues inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.