ATHLETES, coaches and officials during the closing ceremony of the 2019 SEA Games.
By Kristel Satumbaga
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Bambol Tolentino said Filipino athletes will have a mountain to climb in retaining its overall championship in next years Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.
For one, Tolentino said the sports initially proposed by the organizers are not as many when the country hosted the biennial regional sports festival last year.
From 56 sports, Vietnam only lined up 46 including obscure sports like kurash, vovinam and xiangqi, also called Chinese chess.
Definitely mahihirapan tayo sa overall because of that issue with the number of sports, Tolentino said in Tuesdays Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum held online.
Siyempre Vietnam will do what it can to have that overall champion.
Though the sports calendar has yet to be finalized, Tolentino said he is already preparing a strategy to help the athletes retain that overall crown.
Its too early lang to reveal that strategy. Ma-finalize lang yung sports and events, we can proceed with the planning, he said.
The SEAG Federation is expected to meet in November to discuss the appeals of member nations for inclusion of several sports.
Apart from waiting for the final list of sports, Tolentino is also looking forward to Philippine Sports Commissions budget hearing to assess the budget for the SEAG training and participation.
I will ask the PSC if it (budget) will be a big factor for the SEAG next year. If their budget request will be enough. Baka kasi because of the budget, lumagapak tayo from overall to huwag naman seventh, sixth or what, he said.
The country won the SEAG overall title in 2019 by reaping 149 gold, 117 silver and 121 bronze medals. Vietnam was at far second with 98 golds, 85 silvers and 105 bronzes.
Meanwhile, Tolentino announced he would run for the POC presidency in the upcoming elections on Nov. 27.
Hindi naman natin tinatago. Definitely, I will run for president dahil hindi naman full term itong tinakbuhan ko. I just filled in the gap when Mr. (Ricky) Vargas resigned, he said.
He also revealed a part of his ticket that included Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio for first Vice President, and fencing and modern pentathlon federation chief Richard Gomez as second Vice President.
Filing of candidacy will start on Oct. 1 and end on Oct. 31.
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