PREPARE for the 2014 Asian Games.
This early, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ritchie Garcia is urging Filipino athletes to gear their training and preparation toward the Asiad set in Incheon, Korea next year in light of his call to send only a token delegation to this year's Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.
Following the decision of the Myanmar SEA Games organizing committee to scrap several Olympic sports and events where the country has better chances of winning gold medals, Garcia said it would be better if Pinoy athletes set their sights on the Asiad instead.
But at the same time he asked for the athletes’ understanding should the country decide against sending a full delegation to the SEA Games set on December 11-22.
“By sending minimal participants in the SEA Games, it will benefit a lot of athletes as far as training for next year’s Asian Games,” said Garcia in Tuesday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
“We can use these funds to finance the training of the athletes.”
For the Myanmar SEA Games, only 20 of 36 events where the Philippines won gold medals during the 2011 edition of the meet in Indonesia have been retained.
Top sports officials perceived the move as Myanmar’s way of trying to dislodge the Philippines from sixth place in the medal standing as other indigenous games like chin lone, vovinam, kempo, and taran dejugat have been added to the list as replacement to the sports that were removed.
It’s for this reason that the PSC under Garcia, has been batting for a token PH delegation to Myanmar, a decision Garcia believes will be beneficial to the athletes in the long run.
While the PSC, the Philippine Olympic Committee, and national sports associations have yet to make a collective stand on the matter, Garcia also hopes the athletes will understand if it will be determined that only the best will be sent by the country to the SEA Games.
“We have to appeal to the athletes that they have to understand why we are doing this … That is why we have to ask for understanding that this is not a decision that is going to be made by the PSC alone," he said.
“It’s a decision by the POC together with the PSC in consultation with the NSAs… We have to make a stand na ini-insulto tayo, tatanggapin pa natin. There are other games that we are participating. Sayang naman na ganito ang nangyayari sa SEA Games,” said Garcia.