60 athletes to shoot for Olympic seats

For now, there are around 60 national team members, who can still make it to the Tokyo Olympics.

From the list are six national sports associations that are serious in pursuing efforts to claim qualification berths to the Tokyo games.

With this in mind, Chef de Mission Mariano “Nonong” Araneta feels that athletes should all go back to training and remain focused on their goals.

Araneta said this as the Philippine Olympic Committee awaits the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ decision on the resumption of training activities for Tokyo-bound athletes.

“The NSAs will schedule a meeting with the Philippine Sports Commission on this. The other day, the POC and the PSC centered talks on the national athletes and their training,” said Araneta.

“Mayroon pang ibang magpupunta sa qualifiers. Ang problema hindi pa sila allowed mag-training,” added Araneta.

Efforts by the national sports associations to restart the workouts of national athletes on Friday won the support of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, who said he would personally support the request of sports officials to allow the resumption of training of Tokyo-bound Filipino athletes and others seeking Olympic slots.

“Wala pa pong aksiyon (There have been no actions taken yet), but I would personally support that because I want gold in the Tokyo Olympics like everyone else,” he said.

Araneta counted eight more NSAs which have national athletes still going through qualification competitions. This includes those in swimming, athletics, judoka, karatedo, skateboarding, rowing, taekwondo and golf.

So far, there are four Filipino athletes who have so far qualified to compete in the Tokyo Olympics.

Among those who can earn the country’s first Olympic gold medal in Tokyo next year are pole vaulter Ernest Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo and boxers Eumir Marcial (men’s middleweight) and Irish Magno (women’s flyweight).

On the other hand, para swimmer Ernie Gawilan qualified in the Tokyo Paralympics.  

The PSC is currently preparing six facilities at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila City and the Philsports Complex in Pasig City.

The venues—the Fencing Hall, Multi-Purpose Center, Strength and Conditioning Building, Dormitory Training Hall at the Philsports Complex and the Taekwondo and Boxing gyms at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex—can be used for training once they have been disinfected after being used as quarantine and treatment facilities for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.

Topics: Tokyo Olympics , Mariano “Nonong” Araneta , COVID-19 , Philippine Sports Commission , Philippine Olympic Committee
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