MEDALISTS in the last Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games are the main benchmark to be used in selecting athletes who will comprise Team Philippines to the 30th SEA Games the country is hosting later this year.
The criteria was set upon following the two meetings held between the joint Philippine Sports Commission (PSC)-Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) Task Force headed by Team Philippines Chef De Mission Monsour Del Rosario.
Athletes also qualified are those who recently placed in world championships or other credible international competitions, those whose best individual record is competitive with either the top SEA Games competitor or SEA Games record as certified by the NSA (National Sports Association) concerned and independent verification, and other criteria the CDM deems applicable to a given circumstance.
Del Rosario, the former taekwondo jin who represented the country in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, said the strict screening of athletes is aimed at giving the country the best shot of winning more gold medals and hopefully, bagged the overall title again after doing so the last time the biennial meet was held here in 2005.
“Sa selection process ng sports, events, and athletes, ang priority ko talaga ay mga tao at atleta na kayang mag-deliver ng gold medal,” said Del Rosario on Tuesday as he gave updates on the country’s preparations for the SEA Games.
“Kahit mas kaunti ang events, kahit mas kaunti ang sports, basta ang Pilipinong atlete kayang magbigay ng gold medal dahil ang SEA Games labanan ng gold medals,” he added. “Modest ako. Hindi ganun kadali mag-third place pero yun ang target ko. But I’m not discounting the fact I’m going to go for the no. 1 overall. Mahirap ng maunahan tayo ng yabang, Doable ang target ko.”
“Hindi naman yun ang position ng SEA Games. Hindi maximum participation, dapat quality,” added Atty. Charlie Ho, president of the netball association and member of the POC arbitration committee.
Del Rosario, current congressman of the first district of Makati who’s running for the city’s vice-mayoralty, is joined by Ho, Arturo Aro, and taekwondo Olympian Stephen Fernandez in the SEA Games Task Force representing the POC.
Executive Director Merle Ibay and Deputy Executive Director Atty. Guillermo Iroy lead the PSC side.
Del Rosario said he’s actually working with the same PSC people who comprised the Task Force that screened Team Philippines which won a record 13 medals, including three golds, in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games two years ago in Turkmenistan.
“I’m sure we’ll work well with them and tsaka mga veterans na rin naman sila,” said Del Rosario, bronze medalists in the World Championships (1985) and Asian Games (1986), both held in Seoul, South Korea.
He’s also eyeing to have rugby’s Ada Milby to become one of his deputies as recommended by POC secretary-general Patrick Gregorio.
The initial submission of entry by numbers to the SEA Games Federation will be on March 15.