The Tokyo Olympics is still a good year away, but Filipino athletes who qualified to the games will have to continue their training.
The Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee agreed to endorse for approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force the resumption of training of the four qualified national athletes to the Tokyo games and a number of hopefuls.
The PSC Board initiated a virtual board with POC President Representative Bambol Tolentino, POC Secretary-General Atty. Ed Gastanes Tuesday to discuss plans to resume training of our Olympic-bound athletes as well as those who will compete in Olympic qualifiers. Both PSC and POC agreed that given the present situation, it would be best to focus on our Olympic bid first.
“We initiated the meeting with POC with the good of our national athletes in mind. Lagi ‘yan priority as Chairman Butch Ramirez always say” said PSC Officer in charge, Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, who stressed that the board wants to leave no stone unturned to ensure that our Olympic hopefuls can keep their momentum. “COVID-19 notwithstanding, we must never lose sight of our goal to give our best for our first Olympic gold.”
The PSC was quick to say though that the final decision will remain with the IATF.
“We can only recommend, but they have the final say,” reminded the sports agency OIC.
The PSC board has already identified six facilities at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila City and the Philsports Complex in Pasig City which may be available for training. The Fencing Hall, Multi-purpose Center, Strength and Conditioning Building, Dormitory Training Hall in Philsports and the Taekwondo and Boxing gyms at the RMSC.
Marc Velasco, PSC’s National Training Director informed that the agency will conduct a “massive disinfection of facilities on both complexes to ensure the safety of our athletes should they restart training.”
Both complexes of the PSC have three “we heal as one centers” between them. Presently the Multi-purpose Arena in Pasig City and the Ninoy Aquino Coliseum in RMSC have suspected and mild-positive patients, as the Rizal Coliseum undergoes disinfection, inspection and repairs.
Fernandez added that they are open to the private sector and local government units with low to no-cases of COVID-19 infection to “adopting” other sports training for their respective Olympic qualifying competitions.
The PSC will next meet with Tokyo Olympics Chef de Mission Nonong Araneta to discuss the POC’s projection on our Olympic bid.
“The POC will know who has and where we have a high percentage of qualifying so we will consult them and move from there,” said Fernandez.