WITH gymnastics delisted from the Southeast Asian Games calendar anew, the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines is setting its sights on other tournaments as it waits for a chance to redeem itself in the region’s main sports event.
Gymnastics was not included in the 2009 SEAG in Laos before being reinstated in 2011 in Thailand where the Philippines failed to bag a medal.
Now GAP is instead focusing on events including a Singapore meet in September as well as other competitions in lieu of the Myanmar SEA Games. Singapore will host the 2015 SEA Games.
“The morale of our athletes is very low,” said GAP president Cynthia Carrion. “We trained long and hard for this competition, we had an all-out preparation throughout the year, then suddenly we will be told that we're not going to compete.”
“It's really unfair. Gymnastics is an Olympic sport. We deserve to be there,” added Carrion, also a board member of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
The GAP chief noted that their chances of winning medals in the SEA Games this year would have been much better following the hiring of several Filipino-Americans as well as Romanian head coach Luminita Eftimius.
“Now is the time to prove to everybody that we have a very good program which could have contributed to the medal haul of Team Philippines in the SEA Games,” said Carrion.