DESPITE the country’s disappointing finish in the 17th Asian Games, Philippine Sports Commission chairman Ritchie Garcia said 2014 overall was still a ‘productive year’ for Philippine sports.
Garcia stressed the recent performance of the country in this year’s Asiad in Incheon, Korea does not paint the true picture of Philippine sports. Instead, the PSC chairman looked at the positives, saying the national athletes from all fronts performed well.
The Philippines only won one gold medal in the Asiad courtesy of BMX rider Daniel Caluag, an output that was below expectations and considered as the worst finish for the country since the 1990 edition in Beijing, China.
“We cannot judge the situation of Philippine sports based on one event,” said Garcia during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate as he assessed what happened in Philippine sports in the year about to end.
“If we assess the entire year of 2014, I would say that I’m happy that we closed the year but we are still winning medals,” Garcia said.
The PSC honcho also didn’t fail to mention the exploits of other Filipino athletes internationally, such as Youth Olympic Games gold medalist Luis Gabriel Moreno and jiu-jitsu athletes Annie Ramirez and Maybelline Masuda in the Asian Beach Games who also won golds in Phuket, Thailand.
“We have been totaling more than 500 medals this year, meaning our medals won by our athletes in the national pool, juniors, and even the masters’ level. It is still a productive year," Garcia said.
He likewise mentioned the PSC’s grassroots program like Batang Pinoy and the Philippine National Games is starting to take shape and produce potential national athletes.
“If we continue this, we should expect all of our programs will bear fruit for another year or two,” said Garcia.
With 2014 about to end, Garcia is now looking forward to next year including the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
“It was a good year. We stand by our athletes and we had a good year. 2014 was a good year for Philippine sports,” Garcia said.